BUFFALO, N.Y. – The Sabres fired assistant coaches James Patrick and Kevyn Adams on Thursday in the first moves made by newly promoted head coach Ron Rolston.
A person familiar with the decisions confirmed the moves, and spoke on the condition of anonymity because the Sabres have not announced the moves. The Buffalo News first reported the firings on its website earlier in the day.
The changes come two days after Rolston took over the job on a permanent basis. He closed the season going 15-11-5 as the team’s interim coach in replacing Lindy Ruff, who was fired in February.
The shuffle does not come as a surprise. Rolston indicated he was going to spend the next few weeks putting together his staff.
Both Patrick and Adams were holdovers from Ruff’s tenure, and were both responsible for working behind the bench.
Patrick had completed his seventh season in Buffalo, where he had become Ruff’s top assistant. He’s a former defenceman who enjoyed a 21-season NHL career split between four teams, including the Sabres.
Adams is a former NHL forward, who spent 10 seasons playing in the NHL. From the Buffalo area, he had completed his fourth season with the Sabres organization, including the past two as an assistant coach.
Longtime goalie coach Jim Corsi and assistant coach Teppo Numminen were expected to be retained by Rolston. Corsi completed his 15th season in Buffalo, a stretch during which he’s coached former starter Dominik Hasek and now Ryan Miller.
Both Corsi and Numminen worked games from the press box level.
Rolston is a first-time NHL head coach, who spent the previous two years coaching the Sabres AHL affiliate in Rochester, N.Y. He also has ties to USA Hockey, where he spent seven years as a national team development program coach.
One potential candidate in the mix to take over as a Sabres assistant is Chadd Cassidy, Rolston’s former assistant in Rochester. Cassidy was Rolston’s top assistant on the U.S. Under-18 national team. And he took over in Rochester following Rolston’s promotion to Buffalo.