The Buffalo Sabres have hired Chris Hajt as an assistant coach, the team announced Monday afternoon.
Hajt comes from the Los Angeles Kings' AHL affiliate, the Ontario (Calif.) Reign, where he served as an assistant coach the last three seasons. When the Kings' AHL affiliate was the Manchester Monarchs, Hajt helped them to a Calder Cup title in the 2014-15 season. The Reign made the playoffs each of the last two seasons and won a division title in 2015-16.
"It's been a process with that because we're trying to do a thorough search for really good candidates and there's a lot of really good coaches out there," Sabres head coach Phil Housley said last Tuesday of his coaching search. "But you wanna just make sure you do the right thing and look at everybody. We still have the coach that we're looking at and trying to fill that position."
Less than two weeks ago the Sabres hired another assistant from the Kings organization, former Kings assistant Davis Payne, to fill an assistant coaching void in Buffalo. Payne will be the associate head coach.
Hajt is the son of former Sabre Bill Hajt, who played in Buffalo from 1973-87, scoring 42 goals and assisting on 202 in 854 games played. The defenseman racked up 433 penalty minutes over those 14 seasons.
Chris Hajt played the majority of his professional career in the AHL, appearing in 477 games while accumulating 91 points (20 goals and 71 assists). He saw action in six NHL games with the Edmonton Oilers and Washington Capitals, playing one game for the Oilers in the 2000-01 season and five for the Capitals in 2003-04.
Hajt previously coached the OHL's Guelph Storm from 2008-14. The Storm made the playoffs each of those six seasons and won the OHL championship in 2014.
The Sabres also announced that assistant coach Tom Ward will return next season.