Buffalo Sabres Fire Head Coach Don Granato As Playoff Drought Continues

The Sabres haven't made a playoff appearance in 13 seasons.
Don Granato
Don Granato / Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports
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On Tuesday, Don Granato was fired as head coach of the Buffalo Sabres. The team finished sixth in the Atlantic Division this season with a 39-37-6 record. As a result, Buffalo missed the playoffs for a 13th consecutive season, an NHL record for a postseason drought.

The Sabres released a statement following the dismissal of Granato, who just finished up his fourth season at the helm.

"I would like to thank Don for his time in Buffalo and commitment to the Sabres organization," Sabres general manager Kevyn Adams said. "He has been integral in the development of many of our players and has undoubtedly been the right coach to bring us to where we are now, but I felt it was necessary to move in a different direction at this point in time. My expectation is to be a consistent contender and unfortunately that goal has not been met.

Granato was far from the worst coach in the league and the Sabres had an average campaign in 2023-24, but this news isn't necessarily surprising. Granato took over one of the worst teams in the league as an interim head coach late in the 2020-21 season and managed to get them to play at a .500 level in his first full year as head coach. But the team as a whole stumbled this past season and there wasn't much development to be seen on the ice. Granato will finish his Sabres tenure with a 122-125-27 record.

Ultimately, the franchise clearly felt Granato didn't do enough to build off a fairly successful 2022-23 campaign in which Buffalo missed the postseason by only two points. The Sabres will keep shuffling through head coaches until they finally find the person who will lead them back to the playoffs and shake off the ignominious streak hanging over the head of the organization.


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Liam McKeone

LIAM MCKEONE

Liam McKeone is a Senior Writer for the Breaking & Trending News Team at Sports Illustrated. In addition to his role as a writer, he collaborates with other teams across Minute Media to help define his team’s content strategy. He has been in the industry as a content creator since 2017, and prior to joining SI in 2024, Liam worked for NBC Sports Boston and The Big Lead. In addition to his work as a writer, he has hosted the Press Pass Podcast covering sports media and The Big Stream covering pop culture. A graduate of Fordham University, Liam is always up for a good debate and enjoys loudly arguing about sports, rap music, books, and video games. Liam has been a member of the National Sports Media Association (NSMA) since 2020.