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Sabres announce assistant coaches and additions to hockey staff

by Amy Moritz

The Buffalo Sabres have officially announced their assistant coaching staff for the 2014-15 season -- Bryan Trottier, Danny Flynn and Tom Coolen with Arturs Irbe serving as goaltending coach.

“I’m very happy with the group of talented hockey minds we were able to assemble for our coaching staff,” head coach Ted Nolan said in a press release from the organization. “Each one of these coaches brings an extensive and different background from the hockey world and I’m confident they will help get our team to where it needs to go this season.”

The team also announced additions to the hockey department with Rob Murphy named director of scouting and Greg Royce director of amateur scouting while Mark Jakubowski has been named assistant general manager.

On the coaching front, Trottier has nine years of NHL coaching experience, including serving as the head coach of the New York Rangers in 2002-03. A veteran of 18 NHL seasons, he was a seven-time Stanley Cup champion and a a 1997 Hockey Hall of Fame inductee. He finished his playing career with 1,425 points (524 goals, 901 assists) in 1,279  NHL games. His jersey, No. 19, was officially retired by the Islanders in 2001.

This is is the second coaching stint for Flynn along side Nolan. He worked with as Nolan's assistant coach in 2006-07 with the New York Islanders. He joins the Sabres after serving as head coach of the Moncton Wildcats (QMJHL) for six seasons, from 2007-2013. 

Also familiar to working with Nolan is Coolen, who served as an assistant coach with the Latvian national team the past two seasons, including last winter's Olympic Games in Sochi.

Irbe, a 13-year NHL veteran, also worked with Nolan as an assistant coach for the Latvian national team at the 2013 IIHF World Championships. Irbe played 568 career NHL games in goal for the San Jose Sharks, Dallas Stars, Vancouver Canucks and Carolina Hurricanes. He was twice selected to the NHL All-Star Game (1994 and 1999), helped  the Hurricanes to a berth in the 2002 Stanley Cup Final and represented Latvia at two Winter Olympic Games (2002 and 2006).

As for the hockey department additions, Jakubowski will work as assistant to general manager Tim Murray. This will be Jakubowski's 10th year with the Sabres, spending the last six as assistant to the general manager. Among his responsibilities are salary cap analysis, contract research, managing player transfers and team roster administration.

Murphy and Royce are both familiar to Tim Murray as they worked together in Ottawa. Murphy joins the Sabres as director of scouting after four years as a pro scout for the Ottawa Senators and three years as a scout for the Phoenix Coyotes. Royce has spent the last 18 years in NHL scouting, the last six as an amateur scout with the Ottawa Senators.


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