The Buffalo Sabres announced today that Joseph R. Marszalek is the 2007 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." Marszalek will receive his award during the second intermission of Buffalo’s game against Boston tonight.
Marszalek is the 22nd recipient of the award. He has been coaching for 19 years at different levels, including stints at Bishop Timon, Amherst High School, South Buffalo, the Buffalo Regals and Buffalo Saints Midget Majors. He has also coached in the Empire State Games, and his Western New York all-star teams have participated in the Chicago Showcase and at numerous New York State and National camps. Marszalek's teams have won nine NY State Midget Major Tier I championships as well as four Empire State Games titles. He is currently the coaching coordinator of the Buffalo Saints Midget program and the USA NYS West Section for 14 and 15-year-olds. Joe and his wife Linda have three boys, ages six to nine. He currently coaches his sons in the Hamburg Hawks 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.