Dan Bylsma has found a champion and Hall of Famer to add to his coaching staff.
Bob Woods, longtime assistant to Bruce Boudreau, has filled one of the Buffalo Sabres’ two openings for assistant coach. Woods recently finished his second season as head coach and general manager of Saskatoon, and the Western Hockey League team has called a news conference with a “major announcement” for 3:30 p.m. Thursday.
The 48-year-old Woods has won Calder Cups in the American Hockey League as a coach, assistant and player. He won his first title as a defenseman with Hershey in 1997. He was an assistant on Boudreau’s Hershey staff during a title run in 2006. Woods was the bench boss in 2009 when Hershey won again.
Woods compiled a record of 83-47-15 in two seasons as Hershey’s coach before joining Boudreau’s NHL staffs in Washington and Anaheim for five years. He went 45-91-8 during his two seasons with Saskatoon.
Woods began his coaching career in the ECHL in 1997 as a player/assistant. It was part of a 10-year career in the ECHL that culminated with 159 goals from the blue line, a record-setting distinction that got him elected to the ECHL Hall of Fame in 2012.
Woods also played professionally in the AHL, International Hockey League and Austria.
Woods’ son Brendan is forward with the Carolina Hurricanes who was drafted in the fifth round of the 2012 NHL Draft.
Bylsma had two staff openings after the departures of Dan Lambert, who become coach of Rochester, and Dave Barr, who joined the Florida Panthers. Sabres General Manager Tim Murray said this week that one hiring was close while there was no update on the third assistant. Terry Murray remains on the staff.
Major announcement coming today. News conference slated for 130pm @SaskTelCtr. Stay tuned for details.
— Saskatoon Blades (@BladesHockey) June 23, 2016