Nolan implies racism keeping him from return to NHL

Updated: May 24, 2006, 1:39 PM ET
ESPN.com news services

Ted Nolan isn't shy in explaining why he hasn't had another NHL head coaching opportunity since being leaving the Sabres nine years ago.

"I look different. I'm not one of them," Nolan told the Globe and Mail.

Nolan, a member of the Ojibwa Indian tribe in Ontario, said he was subjected to racism as a player in the minor leagues and in the NHL with the Penguins and Red Wings.

Nolan, who currently coaches the Moncton Wildcats of the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League, left the Buffalo Sabres after two seasons, despite winning the Jack Adams Award as coach of the year after the 1996-97 season. He rejected a one-year extension from the club because he wanted more security and Buffalo went in another direction.

Nolan said he also has endured taunts from fans on the road while coaching his current team.

Nolan was offered the Tampa Bay Lightning job in the late 1990s, but turned it down for family reasons.