Buffalo Sabres general manager Tim Murray announced today that assistant coach Dan Lambert has been named head coach of the Rochester Americans. Lambert will replace Randy Cunneyworth who will be reassigned to a position in the franchise’s Player Development department.
“We had a plan in place going into last season to eventually promote Dan to head coach of the Americans and transition Randy back to player development,” said Murray in the team’s official release. “With his experience as a Sabres assistant last season, we felt Dan was ready to take on the added responsibility of being a head coach and implementing our organizational philosophy in Rochester.”
Lambert coached the Kelowna Rockets to a Western Hockey League Conference title in his first season as head coach in 2014-15, putting up a 53-13-6 regular season record. He and the Rockets went on to win the Ed Chynoweth Cup, posting a 16-3 record in the WHL Playoffs. They ultimately fell to the Oshawa Generals of the Ontario Hockey League in the Memorial Cup Finals.
Lambert becomes the 31st Amerks coach after assisting head coach Dan Bylsma lead the Sabres to a 27-point improvement in the standings over the 2014-15 season.
He had a 19-year professional career as a player after being drafted 106th overall by the Quebec Nordiques in the 1989 NHL Draft. He was able to tally 15 points in the 29 games he appeared in for the Nordiques, and collected 474 points (120+354) and 845 penalty minutes in the 614 combined AHL/IHL games he played with Fort Wayne, Halifax, Moncton, San Diego and Los Angeles.
He finished his hockey playing career with 10 seasons in Germany (DEL), including five seasons as the captain of the Hannover Scorpions. In 488 DEL games, Lambert had 299 points (80+219) and 667 penalty minutes.