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Buffalo Sabres Offseason Staff Changes

As the Buffalo Sabres prepare for another NHL season, just like any other NHL team, there have been a number of employee turnovers and job title changes over the last few months. Inspired by this post from Pension Plan Puppets, I embarked on a similar task to see who’s in, who’s out and what’s changed on the Sabres/KeyBank Center/etc. staff.

I compared the current Sabres staff directory page to the same one on October 18, 2021. Here are the notable, or somewhat notable, changes. This list isn’t comprehensive, and I didn’t include every switch in departments like maintenance, engineering & security.

Longtime equipment manager Rip Simonick had spoken for years about retirement, or at least shifting to part-time work, but this is the first time in a long time that he isn’t listed at all on the Sabres’ website to start a new hockey season. It would appear that he has quietly retired, for real this time, and if that’s indeed the case, it would behoove the Sabres to properly honor him.

When it comes to the coaching staff, everything is pretty much status quo entering the season. Some of these changes we already knew about over the course of the past year, including the addition of two data/analytics positions. Regardless, it’s interesting to see where the turnover has occurred and what’s new heading into the season.

New Positions

Name Title Department
Domenic Galamini, Jr. Data Scientist Hockey
Matt Barlowe Data Engineer Hockey
Don Dudley Team Chiropractor Performance
Laura Hettrick Senior Event Manager Arena Operations
Gerald McNamara Chief Engineer Arena
Michael McCrea Maintenance Manager Arena Operations
Kayla Burns Marketing Coordinator Marketing & Ticketing Operations
Amber Murphy Fundraising Coordinator Marketing & Ticketing Operations
Zach Johnson Director of Ticket Sales & Services Marketing & Ticketing Operations
John Ricotta Associate Manager, Premium Hospitality Marketing & Ticketing Operations
Kevin Bailey Premium Sales Representative Marketing & Ticketing Operations
George Blas Studio Production Assistant Media & Content
Kurt Haumesser Social Media Coordinator Media & Content

Position Switches

Name New Title Old Title
Michael Whitney Markerting Manager – Live Events & Bandits Copywriter
Tyler Ford Community Relations Coordinator Mascot Coordinator
Christopher Miller Ticket Operations Administrator Account Services Representattive
Roxanne Anderson Senior Account Services Representative Account Services Representattive
Brian Bilski Ticket Sales Representative Account Services Representattive
Michelle Girardi Zumwalt Supervising Producer Senior Producer
Jay Harris Senior Producer Producer
Kelsey Sweet Social Media Strategist Senior Social Media Editor


Name Title Department
Rip Simonick Equipment Manager Equipment
Joe Collins High Performance Manager Performance
Mike Taboni Event Manager Arena Operations
Timothy Schmitt Security Manager Arena Operations
Jon Latke Manager of Corporate Sales Business Development/Merchandise
Chelsea Kowalik Graphic Designer Creative Services & Game Presentation
Sara Schuller Account Manager, PicSix Creative Creative Services & Game Presentation
John Durbin SVP of Marketing & Business Strategy Marketing & Ticket Operations
Gregg Pastore Sr. Director of Digital Media & Strategy Marketing & Ticket Operations
Nick Fearby Coordinator of Community Relations Marketing & Ticket Operations
Mark Preisler EVP of Media & Content, PSE Media & Content
Don Heins Director of Communications, PSE Media & Content
Alexandra Napoli Social Media Editor Media & Content

Despite his retirement, Rick Jeanneret is still listed as the team’s Play-by-Play Announcer, so I’d expect that further updates will be forthcoming.