The Buffalo Sabres today announced the following changes to the team’s coaching and development staffs:
Jason Christie, Matt Ellis and Marty Wilford have been hired as assistant coaches and Justin White has been hired as video coordinator. Assistant coach Mike Bales and video coach Myles Fee will both remain with the team this season.
Adam Mair has been hired as the director of player development and Dan Girardi will remain with the organization in a development role.
“In Marty and Jason, we’ve added two quality people and coaches to our organization. Their experience at multiple levels of pro hockey will be crucial as we implement our vision for this team. We are also excited to bring back Matt Ellis, Mike Bales and Myles Fee, and add Justin White to our group to continue building on the progress of last season. I’m confident in the passion and intensity they will all bring to the rink each day and their ability to get the best out our players and team.”
– Sabres Head Coach Don Granato
- Holds the ECHL all-time record for coaching wins (667) and has served as a head coach in the ECHL for 18 seasons for the Jacksonville IceMen (2017-2021), Tulsa Oilers (2015-2017), Ontario Reign (2011-2015), Utah Grizzlies (2005-2008) and Peoria Rivermen (2000-2005).
- Won the Kelly Cup as the ECHL champion and was named Playoff MVP in 2000 during the final year of his playing career for the Don Granato-coached Rivermen.
- Served as an assistant coach for the Chicago Wolves (AHL) from 2008 to 2010.
- Served as an interim assistant coach for the Sabres last season after being named the team’s director of player development in September 2020.
- Played in 356 NHL games during his nine-year career for the Buffalo Sabres, Los Angeles Kings and Detroit Red Wings.
- Spent four seasons working for the Academy of Hockey in LECOM Harborcenter, where he served as a development coach before being named director in September 2019.
- Has spent the last three seasons (2018-19 to 2020-21) as an assistant coach for the Anaheim Ducks after serving as an assistant coach for the San Diego Gulls (AHL) from 2015 to 2018.
- Began his coaching career as an assistant coach for the Syracuse Crunch (AHL) during the 2011-12 season before serving in the same role for the Norfolk Admirals (AHL) from 2012 to 2015.
- Had a 14-year pro playing career as a defenseman, including 275 points (47+228) in 539 games during seven AHL seasons.
- Played 615 games during a 12-year NHL career as a forward for the Sabres, New Jersey Devils, Los Angeles Kings and Toronto Maple Leafs after being selected by Toronto in the fourth round (84th overall) of the 1997 NHL Draft.
- Served as an assistant coach for the Rochester Americans (AHL) during the 2020-21 season.
- Spent five seasons as a development coach for the Sabres from 2015 to 2020 after serving as the director of player development for Canisius College (AHA) from 2012 to 2014.