The Buffalo Sabres set off some more fireworks this morning when the news broke of a big front office hire. Elliotte Friedman was first to report that they are hiring Sam Ventura away from the Pittsburgh Penguins. He’ll serve the role of VP of hockey research and strategy.
In a corresponding move, Jason Nightingale will move into the scouting department completely as assistant director of amateur scouting.
Ventura has been with the Penguins organization since 2015. He was part of that front office with current Sabres’ associate general manager Jason Karmanos.
After serving a few years in the Penguins analytics department, he received a promotion just last year to director of hockey operations and hockey research. He handled the salary cap, CBA, and remained involved in analytics under this new role.
There was a really good article put out by Michelle Crechiolo last year that details Ventura’s journey. You can read that here.
This is an exciting move for those fans that have been looking for the Sabres to bring in people with a more data-driven approach to their analysis. Ventura is a well-respected person in the analytics community. The organization has the beginning of a true analytics department forming under Karmanos and Ventura. I would imagine this won’t be the last hire they make for that department either.