Sunday, July 27, 2008

Cunneyworth leaves the Sabres organization

Randy Cunneyworth has long been the coach of the AHL’s Rochester Amerks, but this coming season will instead be working as an assistant in the NHL with the Atlanta Thrashers. While Cunneyworth had always been viewed as a potential candidate for NHL head coaching jobs, it appeared as if he would have rather stayed on as head coach in the AHL. However, the Buffalo Sabres split with Rochester would have uprooted him anyways, so he took the job with Atlanta instead.

His departure will be a huge blow to the Sabres organization. Buffalo has long depened on Cunneyworth to train and prepare their young players on the farm team. His similar coaching style allowed players to easily transition to playing under Lindy Ruff, and to prepare themselves for the NHL. Almost the entire current Buffalo roster played for him in Rochester, and his help was critical to forming the current team.

Hopefully the Sabres current high profile prospects such as Nathan Gerbe, and Tim Kennedy will be able to adapt to Buffalo’s system just as well playing for a different coach in Portland Maine. Kevin Dineen is expected to be offered the coaching job after coaching in Portland for Anaheim the last few seasons. Still it is a huge loss to no longer have Cunneyworth as the mentor for this young team.

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