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Randy Cunneyworth's hockey career is back where it started.

The 37-year-old left winger has signed a multiyear contract with the Buffalo Sabres, who drafted him in 1980. He probably will spend most of the upcoming season with Buffalo's minor-league affiliate in Rochester, although he could see spot duty with the Sabres.

Cunneyworth made his NHL debut with the Sabres during the 1980-81 season. He spent most the next four seasons with Rochester and still lives there in the offseason. Cunneyworth played for the Pittsburgh Penguins, Winnipeg Jets, Hartford Whalers and Chicago Blackhawks before signing as a free agent with the Ottawa Senators in 1994.

Cunneyworth spent the past four seasons with the Senators, and was a captain of the team. Last season, he had two goals and 11 assists in 71 games, and has 187 goals and 223 asists in his career. He became a free agent earlier this summer.

The Sabres also have bought out the final year of the contract of Randy Burridge. The 32-year-old winger played 30 games for Buffalo last season, scoring four goals and six assists. He was scratched for long periods of time, and was assigned to Rochester late in the regular season. Burridge had one assist in six games for the Amerks.

Burridge spent three seasons with the Sabres' organization. His best was in 1995-96, when he had 25 goals and 33 assists. Knee problems have plagued him throughout his career.

Plunkett names assistant at Niagara

Pat Plunkett was named assistant basketball coach at Niagara University by head coach Joe Mihalich. Although Plunkett's duties were not enumerated, he has a background in operations management as well as coaching.

A 1991 graduate of St. Joseph's (Pa.) University, Plunkett comes from the University of Dayton, where he was director of operations for men's basketball and heavily involved in recruiting. Before that, the Bolingbrook, Ill., native coached and taught at Shipley School in Bryn Mawr, Pa., and worked in various capacities in basketball and athletics for Villanova, St. Joseph's and the Atlantic 10 Conference.

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