Buffalo Sabres General Manager Darcy Regier announced today that Chadd Cassidy and Jay McKee have been named Assistant Coaches of the Rochester Americans, the American Hockey League affiliate of the Sabres. In addition, Chris Taylor has been hired as Development Coach and Bob Janosz has been named Goaltending Coach. Cassidy, McKee, Taylor and Janosz will join the staff of Amerks Head Coach Ron Rolston, who was named to the position on July 27, 2011.
Cassidy spent the past five seasons working alongside Rolston as an assistant coach with USA Hockey’s National Team Development Program (NTDP), culminating in a gold medal at the 2011 International Ice Hockey Federation (IIHF) Under-18 World Championship in Germany. During the 2010-11 season, Cassidy also helped lead Team USA to titles in the 2011 Five Nations Tournament and the 2010 Four Nations Cup. In addition, the U.S. National Under-18 Team posted a 12-9-1-2 record in United States Hockey League play in 2010-11, helping the NTDP reach the USHL postseason for the first time.
During the 2009-10 season, Cassidy helped guide the U.S. National Under-17 Team to great international success as Team USA won its first title at the 2010 World Under-17 Hockey Challenge since 2002 and captured first-place at the 2009 Under-17 Four Nations Cup. In 2008-09, Cassidy helped lead the U.S. Under-18 Team to its fourth gold medal at the 2009 IIHF Men’s Under-18 World Championship. Additionally, Team USA posted a 15-1-0-1 record against international opponents and a 13-13-1 record against college foes. Cassidy also served as an assistant coach for the U.S. Men’s National Under-18 Team that earned the silver medal at the 2007 IIHF World Men’s Under-18 Championship.
Prior to joining the NTDP, Cassidy served as the head coach for four seasons at the National Sports Academy in his hometown of Lake Placid, N.Y., where he posted a 124-71-15 record. His teams made the final of the Midwest Prep League playoffs every year in his tenure, and won the league championship in 2004. Cassidy served as an assistant coach at State University of New York at Cortland from 1999-2001 and Potsdam State for the 2001-2002 season. He also played on the varsity hockey team at Cortland State and graduated in 1995.
McKee enters the coaching ranks following a 14-year professional hockey career as a defenseman in the National Hockey League. Selected by Buffalo in the first round (14th overall) of the 1995 NHL Entry Draft, McKee played 24 games with the Amerks over parts of three seasons from 1995 to 1997 before becoming a fixture on the Sabres’ blue line. In 582 games over parts of 10 seasons with the Sabres, McKee registered 17 goals and 81 assists for 98 points, as well as 470 penalty minutes and a +45 rating. During the 2005-06 campaign, McKee tied his career-high with five goals while also leading the NHL with 241 blocked shots.
A native of Kingston, Ontario, McKee also appeared in 51 career playoff games with the Sabres, recording nine points (3+6) while helping lead Buffalo to the 1999 Stanley Cup Finals and the 2006 Eastern Conference Finals. Following his tenure in Buffalo, McKee joined the St. Louis Blues prior to the 2006-07 season and went on to appear in 158 games over three seasons with the Blues while collecting 17 points (3+14) and 98 PIM. He retired from the NHL following the 2009-10 season, during which he registered 10 points (1+9) and 54 PIM in 62 games for the Pittsburgh Penguins. McKee spent the 2010-11 season as a volunteer assistant coach with the Niagara University men’s hockey team in Lewiston, NY.
Taylor joins Rochester’s coaching staff following a 19-year professional career that saw him become one of the all-time greats in an Amerks uniform. After spending parts of nine seasons with the Amerks between 1999 and 2011, Taylor finished his career ranked among the franchise’s all-time leaders in assists (3rd, 339), games played (4th, 519), points (5th, 481) and goals (10th, 142). He also served as team captain during the 2004-05 and 2005-06 seasons and was an alternate captain during several other campaigns.
A member of the Amerks’ 50th Anniversary Team, Taylor is also a three-time Amerks team MVP and scoring champion (2001-02, 2002-03, 2004-05) and is the only player in franchise history to achieve those two feats in the same season on three occasions. During his final season as a player in 2010-11, Taylor ranked second on the Amerks in scoring with 51 points (10+41) in 72 games. He also finished second on the team in scoring the previous year with 61 points (17+44) when he returned to Rochester following a three-year stint in Germany, where he played for Frankfurt. During the 2004-05 campaign, Taylor was the scoring leader with 79 points (21+58) on an Amerks team that included current Sabres forwards Thomas Vanek
, Derek Roy
, Jason Pominville
and Paul Gaustad. That same season, he was honored with the AHL’s Fred T. Hunt Award for sportsmanship, determination and dedication to the game of hockey. Taylor also shares the franchise record for most assists in a single game with six, set on Oct. 21, 2005.
During his pro career, Taylor appeared in 149 NHL games with the New York Islanders, Boston Bruins and Sabres, recording 32 points (11+21) and 48 PIM. Of those 149 games, 90 came in a Buffalo uniform. In 2003-04, he set NHL career-highs in games played (54), goals (6), assists (6) and points (12) while with the Sabres. Prior to joining the Sabres/Amerks organization in 1999, Taylor won two Turner Cup Championships with Utah of the International Hockey League. The Stratford, Ontario native was originally drafted by the Islanders in the second round (27th overall) of the 1990 NHL Entry Draft and finished his pro career with 1,297 games played at the NHL, AHL, IHL and European levels.
Janosz returns to the Amerks after serving as the team’s goaltending coach from 2006 to 2009. During his stint with the team, he also worked as a video coach and a strength and conditioning coach at various times. Most recently, Janosz has worked as an Eastern Regional Development Scout for USA Hockey and as an Assistant Goaltending Coach for the Florida Panthers. He also runs the Janosz School of Goaltending, conducting camps throughout New York State. Several of the goalies who have attended his camps have gone on to professional and collegiate careers.
Prior to his coaching career, Janosz, a native of Elma, NY, enjoyed a standout collegiate career at Canisius College in Buffalo, posting a record of 27-28-9 while making more than 2,000 saves in 70 games during his four-year career. He went on to play two seasons of professional hockey from 1999-01, spending one year with the Muskegon Fury of the UHL and one with the Arkansas RiverBlades of the ECHL. He finished his professional career with a record of 23-18-8.