The Buffalo Sabres today announced that Randy Cunneyworth has been promoted to be a special assistant and player development coach for the Rochester Americans, the team’s American Hockey League affiliate club. In his new role, Cunneyworth will work to develop players in Rochester and serve as a liaison to the Sabres. Cunneyworth re-joined the Sabres/Amerks organization in November as a pro scout.
“This is an exciting opportunity to fully utilize all of Randy’s expertise as a hockey coach and mentor,” said Pat LaFontaine, Buffalo's president of hockey operations. “Randy will work to ensure that the link between the Sabres and Amerks grows even stronger. Our goal is to make sure that the Amerks continue to thrive in developing and harnessing talent at the AHL level to be a reliable pipeline of NHL-ready players for the Sabres’ roster in the future.”
Before re-joining the organization, Cunneyworth served as interim head coach for the Montreal Canadiens after being promoted to assistant coach of the Canadiens following a one-year stint as head coach of the Hamilton Bulldogs (AHL). He guided the Canadiens to an 18-23-9 record in 50 games after taking over for head coach Jacques Martin midway through the 2011-12 season.
Prior to his time with the Canadiens organization, Cunneyworth spent two seasons as an assistant coach for the Atlanta Thrashers (2008-09 and 2009-10). Cunneyworth began his coaching career as a player-coach under Rochester Americans head coach Brian McCutcheon during the 1999-2000 AHL season. He was hired by the Americans to serve as head coach the following season and retained that post for eight seasons, where he compiled a 306-273-61 record.
As a player, Cunneyworth had an NHL career that spanned parts of 16 seasons. He began his NHL career with the Sabres in 1980-81 after the team selected him in the eighth round of the 1980 NHL Entry Draft and returned to Buffalo in the 1998-99 season for what would be his final NHL season.