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by Staff Writer / Buffalo Sabres
The Buffalo Sabres today announced that Fred Korey is the 2009 recipient of the J. Michael Duffett Memorial Award, presented each year to the coach whose contributions to amateur hockey in Western New York “best exemplifies the knowledge, teaching, love of the game and gentle humanity of Mike.” The award will be presented during this Saturday’s game against the Carolina Hurricanes.

A former varsity hockey captain at Canisius College, Korey becomes the 24th recipient of the Duffett Award. Korey has over 27 years of coaching experience, but it’s his collaboration with former Sabre Dominik Hasek that has drawn national attention. In 2001, the pair started “Hasek’s Heroes,” a youth hockey league in the city of Buffalo that gives children from low to moderate income families the opportunity to learn basic skating and hockey skills, while promoting academic excellence. Considered one of the city’s premier afterschool programs, more than 2,000 kids have participated in Hasek’s Heroes since its inception. Last year alone, 20 graduates of the program played local high school hockey. Hasek’s Heroes is also recognized as a member of the NHL’s Diversity Task Force program.   

In 1984, the Buffalo Sabres established the J. Michael Duffett Award in his memory. Mike was a student of the game and a coach with the Buffalo Bisons and the Amherst Hockey Association. A standout player at Nichols School and Clarkson College, he was working in the Sabres hockey department under Scotty Bowman and Roger Neilson at the time of his death after a long battle with cancer.
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