With collegiate and junior hockey seasons drawing near, the Buffalo Sabres hired former players Tim Kennedy and Nathan Paetsch as development coaches Tuesday.
Kennedy, a sixth-round draft choice in 2005 and a Bishop Timon-St. Jude graduate, most recently served as director for the Academy of Hockey at LECOM Harborcenter. He played 10 years of professional hockey, including parts of six in the NHL. The 35-year-old retired forward appeared in a career-high 78 games with the Sabres in 2009-10, totaling a career-high 10 goals.
Paetsch, 38, retired following the 2019-20 season, his 17th in pro hockey and sixth in two stints with the Rochester Americans. The left-shot defenseman appeared in 157 regular-season games across five years with the Sabres from 2005-09. He also appeared in the 2006 Stanley Cup playoffs, Game 7 of the Eastern Conference finals against the eventual champion Carolina Hurricanes. His on-ice role with the Amerks had diminished the final two seasons, but Paetsch was tasked with coaching and mentoring the club's young players.
A seventh-round draft choice of the Sabres in 2003, Paetsch rejoined the organization for the 2017-18 season after winning a Calder Cup with the Grand Rapids Griffins the previous year. He lives in the Rochester area, where he's run hockey camps for defensemen.
Kennedy and Paetsch join a development staff that includes three other coaches – Dan Girardi, Mike Ansell and Seamus Kotyk – and is led by newly appointed director of player development Adam Mair. Matt Ellis, now an assistant coach under Don Granato, led the department last season.