Nate Leaman is the next coach connected to the Sabres
Providence head coach Nate Leaman has been connected to the Sabres job
We’re starting to have the coaching rumor mill heat up again for the Buffalo Sabres. After reports of Jacques Martin being a top candidate early in the week, we got another name yesterday.
Bruce Garrioch of the Ottawa Sun mentioned Leaman as candidate for the Sabres in his piece about the Ottawa Senators coaching search. Here’s the excerpt from Garrioch’s article:
“An interesting name to watch is Leaman. He wouldn’t be considered a top candidate in these parts, but the indications are he’s also held talks with the Buffalo Sabres and is highly-regarded. The belief is the Sabres spoke to Leaman about coaching their AHL affiliate in Rochester two years ago, but he opted to stay with Providence.”
If Jason Botterill had desires of brining Leaman into the organization when he was hired as general manager, it wouldn’t be surprise that he has interest again.
The 46-year-old has spent the last eight years behind the bench in Providence. He won the National Championship in 2015 for the Friars. He’s led Providence to six straight NCAA tournament appearances and two Frozen Four trips.
He was named ECAC coach of the year twice, Hockey East coach of the year once, and NCAA Division I coach of the year in 2011.
Prior to heading to Providence, Leaman, was the winningest head coach in Union College Division I hockey history.
Leaman is known for being a good communicator with his players and developing a few good players that transitioned to the NHL. Players such as Winnipeg Jets forward Brandon Tanev and Boston Bruins forward Noel Acciari. He also coached Philadelphia Flyers defenseman Shayne Gostisbehere one year at Union.
Of course, he just finished coaching Sabres prospect Jacob Bryson for three years.
Jim Montgomery made the jump from Denver University to the Dallas Stars this season. He led them back to the playoffs and a round one upset.
David Quinn was another coach to graduate from the college level to the NHL with the New York Rangers and did a good job in year one.
We’ll see if this turns into something for the Sabres, but he’s an intriguing name to add to the mix.