Several additional changes in Hockey Department also announced

BUFFALO, N.Y. (August 20, 2014) — The Buffalo Sabres today announced that Randy Cunneyworth, Jerry Forton and Kevin Devine have taken on new roles within the organization. Cunneyworth, who worked mainly in player development with the Rochester Americans last season, will serve the organization as a player development coach. Forton will assume a new role to focus on scouting the collegiate ranks as an NCAA scout and Devine will serve as director of player personnel.

Several other changes in the team’s hockey department have also been announced: Jason Long will serve as coordinator of player development; Corey Smith has been named video coach; Jim Kovachik has been named a pro scout; and Seamus Kotyk and Victor Nybladh have been named amateur scouts.

Cunneyworth re-joined the Sabres organization in November 2013 as a scout and then served as a special assistant and player development coach in Rochester. Prior to returning to Buffalo, he served as interim head coach for the Montreal Canadiens after being promoted to assistant coach of the Canadiens following a one-year stint as head coach of the Hamilton Bulldogs (AHL). He was also coach of the Americans for eight seasons, from 2000-2008, after his 16-year career playing in the NHL.

Forton, who served as an assistant coach with the Sabres in 2013-14, has 18 years of collegiate hockey experience with coaching stints at Harvard, UMass Lowell and Niagara University.

Devine begins his 17th year in the Sabres organization, having served in several roles in the hockey department during his tenure. He joined the team’s scouting department in 1998 and has more than 15 years of experience as both an amateur and pro scout.

Long enters his third season with the Sabres after joining the organization in 2012. His responsibilities in player development have included the planning and implementation of the team’s rookie development camp and programs.

Smith, entering his 9th season with the Sabres, will be responsible for all of the video editing and analysis of games, as well as pre-scouting each opponent. He joined the organization in 2006 as a video analyst and most recently served as administrative assistant coach.

Kovachik joined the Sabres in 2012-13 and has served as an amateur scout for the past two seasons. Prior to the Sabres, Kovachik scouted for the Guelph Storm and Sarnia Sting of the Ontario Hockey League (OHL).

Kotyk has been in the Sabres organization since 2013, after a 13-year playing career in the AHL, ECHL, OHL, as well as in Austria.

Nybladh, who joined the organization before the 2012-13 season, has spent the past two seasons as a European scout for the team.


Event will be held at First Niagara Center and HARBORCENTER

BUFFALO, N.Y. (August 18, 2014) — The National Hockey League and the Buffalo Sabres today announced the NHL Combine will move to Buffalo in 2015 and 2016, with the event being held at First Niagara Center and the soon-to-be-completed HARBORCENTER complex across from the arena. The event, which has taken place in Toronto in previous years, showcases the top draft-eligible prospects from North America and Europe heading into the NHL Draft.

“The NHL Combine is an essential event for all of our Member Clubs in advance of the Draft, which continues to grow in importance,” said Colin Campbell, senior executive vice president of NHL Hockey Operations. “The League has pushed to improve the Combine each year and the state-of-the-art facilities in Buffalo will allow us to further enhance the quality of the event for our teams, prospects and media.”

The event, held in late May or early June, is a chance for representatives – typically scouts, coaches and general managers – from the NHL’s 30 member clubs to observe the prospects undergo physical and mental tests. Teams conduct individual interviews with prospects before they undergo various fitness and skill tests to hopefully improve their value in the Draft.

“We’ve had our eye on hosting the Combine for quite some time and we are thrilled that it will be coming to Buffalo,” said Ted Black, president of the Sabres. “Terry and Kim Pegula have made it a goal of this organization to create an environment here in Buffalo that is ideal for hosting highly visible events like the Combine and we are certainly ready to meet that challenge. All of our resources will be in place to ensure a successful event for the league and we’re proud to have the next wave of NHL players pass through Buffalo.”

First Niagara Center and HARBORCENTER offer a unique setting for the event. The combined facility – the two buildings are connected by a pedestrian bridge – is the only three-rink complex among NHL teams and offers an “all-in-one” package, with additional off-ice training space, restaurant and hotel housed in HARBORCENTER.

“HARBORCENTER was built with events like the Combine in mind,” said John Koelmel, HARBORCENTER’s president. “Our intent was to provide a world-class facility for hockey that attracts the sport’s best events. The NHL Combine continues to grow every year and we’re confident that HARBORCENTER and all of its amenities will only add to the experience for the league and all of the participating prospects.”

HARBORCENTER, which opens this fall, is a $172 million hockey and entertainment complex that is connected to First Niagara Center in the Canalside District of downtown Buffalo. Among its many amenities, the facility boasts two NHL-size rinks, 11 locker rooms, the Academy of Hockey, IMPACT Sports Performance training facility, (716) Food and Sport restaurant, a destination Tim Hortons location, a full-service Marriott hotel and a 750-space parking structure and additional retail space.

Partnering with the NHL and the Sabres is Kaleida Health, the largest healthcare provider in Western New York, to provide all medical services and testing for the Combine. In addition to providing on-site equipment and services, Kaleida’s local medical campuses will be available for additional, off-site testing locations.

“We are proud to partner with the National Hockey League and the Sabres in bringing the combine to Buffalo,” said Jody L. Lomeo, president and CEO of Kaleida Health. “Hosting this major event at HARBORCENTER is another step in the renaissance of our great community. Great things are happening across Western New York and we are happy to be a part of it.  Our physicians and staff stand ready to work with the prospects and will deliver great care to them while they are in town.”


Individual game tickets go on sale Sept. 13; Mini-Packs on sale Sept. 4

BUFFALO, N.Y. (August 7, 2014) — The Buffalo Sabres today announced the variable ticket pricing plan for all Sabres home games in the 2014-15 regular season. The variable pricing plan breaks games down into five classifications to determine ticket price: Platinum, Gold, Silver, Bronze and Value. Games were categorized based on the opponent, time of the year, day of the week, classic rivalries and games against marquee players. Fans can purchase individual game tickets beginning on Sept. 13 at 9 a.m.

Mini-Packs, which go on sale Sept. 4 to the general public, give fans the opportunity to create their own ticket package comprised of anywhere from five to 40 games. By purchasing a Mini-Pack, fans can save up to 25% off box office prices. Existing Mini-Pack holders will have the opportunity to renew their package beginning on Aug. 27. Additionally, Mini-Pack holders will not pay a ticket service charge and will have the ability to purchase playoff tickets before they go on sale to the general public (based on availability).

The pricing plan for the 2014-15 season includes one Platinum game (Nov. 15 vs. TOR), seven Gold games, 14 Silver games, 11 Bronze games and eight Value games.

A breakdown of ticket prices for the 2014-15 season is below, marked for box office (BO) and Mini-Pack (MP) prices. The full season schedule with game pricing designations is attached to this release.


Murphy, Royce join scouting staff, Jakubowski named assistant GM

BUFFALO, N.Y. (August 4, 2014) — The Buffalo Sabres today announced that Rob Murphy and Greg Royce have been added to the team’s hockey department in the roles of director of scouting and director of amateur scouting, respectively. The team also announced that Mark Jakubowski has been named assistant general manager, serving under club general manager Tim Murray.

Jakubowski, entering his 10th year with the Sabres, spent the past six years as the assistant to the general manager and also served as director of hockey administration for one year. His responsibilities include salary cap analysis, contract research relating to player negotiations and arbitrations, managing player transfers, team roster administration, and all matters relating to compliance with the NHL Collective Bargaining Agreement and other NHL agreements. Jakubowski also assists with the American Hockey League hockey operations of the team’s minor league affiliate, the Rochester Americans.

Murphy joins the Sabres as director of scouting after four years as a pro scout for the Ottawa Senators and three years as a scout for the Phoenix Coyotes. After being selected in the second round of the 1987 NHL Entry Draft, the Hull, Quebec native appeared in 125 NHL games in seven seasons, recording 21 points (9+12) as a member of the Senators, Los Angeles Kings and Vancouver Canucks.

Royce joins the Sabres as the director of amateur scouting and begins his 18th year as a member of an NHL scouting staff after spending the last six seasons as an amateur scout with the Ottawa Senators. Prior to his time with the Senators, Royce served as an amateur scout for three seasons with the Phoenix Coyotes and worked eight seasons with the Nashville Predators, including three as the Predators’ assistant director of amateur scouting. Prior to his scouting career, Royce served as head coach of the Quinte Hawks (MetJHL) for one season, coaching the team to a 34-13-3 record, and also served as head coach of the Wellington Dukes (MetJHL) for four seasons. A native of Belleville, Ontario, Royce played three seasons of OHL hockey as a member of the Belleville Bulls and Guelph Platers. He also played four years at Dalhousie University, and spent two years playing in Germany.


Trottier, Flynn, Coolen and Irbe round out Nolan’s staff

BUFFALO, N.Y. (August 4, 2014) — The Buffalo Sabres today announced that Bryan Trottier, Danny Flynn, Tom Coolen and Arturs Irbe have been added to head coach Ted Nolan’s coaching staff. Trottier, Flynn and Coolen will serve as assistants and Irbe will serve as goaltending coach.

“I’m very happy with the group of talented hockey minds we were able to assemble for our coaching staff,” Nolan said. “Each one of these coaches brings an extensive and different background from the hockey world and I’m confident they will help get our team to where it needs to go this season.”

Trottier, a 1997 Hockey Hall of Fame inductee and seven-time Stanley Cup champion, brings with him nine years of NHL coaching experience. He served as an assistant coach with the Pittsburgh Penguins for four seasons (1993-94 to 1996-97) and then with the Colorado Avalanche (1998-99 to 2001-02), where he won the Stanley Cup in 2001. He also served as head coach of the New York Rangers in 2002-03 and compiled a 21-26-7 overall record.

Prior to his coaching stints, Trottier played in the NHL for 18 seasons. An integral part of the dominant Islanders teams that won four consecutive Stanley Cup Championships from 1980 to 1983, he set several franchise records and earned numerous NHL accolades including the Hart Memorial Trophy (1979), the Art Ross Memorial Trophy (1979), the Conn Smythe Trophy (1980) and the Calder Memorial Trophy (1976). After his time with the Islanders, Trottier played three seasons for the Pittsburgh Penguins, winning two Stanley Cups with the team in 1991 and 1992, and retired having amassed 1,425 points (524+901) in 1,279 career NHL games played. His jersey, number 19, was officially retired by the Islanders in 2001.

Flynn, embarking on his second stint coaching alongside Nolan, previously worked as Nolan’s assistant coach in 2006-07 with the New York Islanders. He joins the Sabres after serving as head coach of the Moncton Wildcats (QMJHL) for six seasons, from 2007-2013. The Dartmouth, Nova Scotia native ended his Moncton tenure with a record of 222-141-47 and also guided the club to a QMJHL President’s Cup championship win in 2010. Flynn was the recipient of the Ron Lapointe Trophy as QMJHL Coach of the Year for the 2008-09 season.

Coolen comes to Buffalo from the Latvian national team, where he served as an assistant coach on Ted Nolan’s staff over the past two seasons (2012-2014) including the Olympic Games in Sochi. He spent eight years of his 20-year coaching career at Acadia University (1987-1995), a period that included winning the program’s first national championship in 1993. Coolen is also a former head coach of the University of New Brunswick (1998-2000) and the QMJHL’s Moncton Wildcats (2000-2002). He has coaching experience around the world, including the Elite leagues of Germany, Switzerland, and Finland.

Irbe enjoyed a 13-year, 568-game NHL career as a goaltender for the San Jose Sharks, Dallas Stars, Vancouver Canucks and Carolina Hurricanes. Selected to two NHL All-Star Games (1994 and 1999), Irbe helped lead the Hurricanes to a berth in the 2002 Stanley Cup Final and represented Latvia at two Winter Olympic Games (2002 and 2006). Following his playing career, the Riga, Latvia native served as the goaltending coach for his hometown Dinamo Riga during the 2008-09 season, before joining the Washington Capitals organization to serve in the same capacity from 2009-11. Most recently, Irbe worked alongside Nolan as an assistant coach for Team Latvia at the 2013 IIHF World Championship in Helsinki, Finland.