After a disappointing season for the Rochester Americans, the Buffalo Sabres have announced some changes down on the farm for next season.
Dan Lambert has been named the new coach of the Amerks, while former head coach Randy Cunneyworth has been reassigned to a position in the team's department of player development, where he previously worked from 2013-15.
If Lambert's name sounds familiar, it's because he was one of the assistant coaches on Dan Bylsma's staff in Buffalo this season. In addition to working for the Sabres, Lambert was being groomed to eventually take Cunneyworth's place all along, says Sabres GM Tim Murray in the team's press release.
"We had a plan in place going into last season to eventually promote Dan to head coach of the Americans and transition Randy back to player development," said Murray. "With his experience as a Sabres assistant last season, we felt Dan was ready to take on the added responsibility of being a head coach and implementing our organizational philosophy in Rochester."
So how is Lambert's coaching record in the minor leagues? In his last head coaching gig before joining the Sabres, Lambert led the Kelowna Rockets to a WHL championship and a berth in the Memorial Cup. He also spent five years as an assistant in Kelowna, where the team earned a .640 points percentage over that span. The Amerks would love to see anything close to that kind of success after disappointing seasons each of the past few years.
The 46-year old Lambert is a former defenseman who played 29 games for the Quebec Nordiques among a long career in various minor leagues. He retired from professional hockey in 2009, when he joined Kelowna as an assistant coach. His promotion also opens up a spot for a new assistant coach in Buffalo, but as of now that spot simply remains unfilled.