The Buffalo Sabres today announced that Bryan Trottier, Danny Flynn, Tom Coolen and Arturs Irbe have been added to head coach Ted Nolan’s coaching staff. Trottier, Flynn and Coolen will serve as assistants and Irbe will serve as goaltending coach.
“I’m very happy with the group of talented hockey minds we were able to assemble for our coaching staff,” Nolan said. “Each one of these coaches brings an extensive and different background from the hockey world and I’m confident they will help get our team to where it needs to go this season.”
Trottier, a 1997 Hockey Hall of Fame inductee and seven-time Stanley Cup champion, brings with him nine years of NHL coaching experience. He served as an assistant coach with the Pittsburgh Penguins for four seasons (1993-94 to 1996-97) and then with the Colorado Avalanche (1998-99 to 2001-02), where he won the Stanley Cup in 2001. He also served as head coach of the New York Rangers in 2002-03 and compiled a 21-26-7 overall record.
Prior to his coaching stints, Trottier played in the NHL for 18 seasons. An integral part of the dominant Islanders teams that won four consecutive Stanley Cup Championships from 1980 to 1983, he set several franchise records and earned numerous NHL accolades including the Hart Memorial Trophy (1979), the Art Ross Memorial Trophy (1979), the Conn Smythe Trophy (1980) and the Calder Memorial Trophy (1976). After his time with the Islanders, Trottier played three seasons for the Pittsburgh Penguins, winning two Stanley Cups with the team in 1991 and 1992, and retired having amassed 1,425 points (524+901) in 1,279 career NHL games played. His jersey, number 19, was officially retired by the Islanders in 2001.
Flynn, embarking on his second stint coaching alongside Nolan, previously worked as Nolan’s assistant coach in 2006-07 with the New York Islanders. He joins the Sabres after serving as head coach of the Moncton Wildcats (QMJHL) for six seasons, from 2007-2013. The Dartmouth, Nova Scotia native ended his Moncton tenure with a record of 222-141-47 and also guided the club to a QMJHL President’s Cup championship win in 2010. Flynn was the recipient of the Ron Lapointe Trophy as QMJHL Coach of the Year for the 2008-09 season.
Coolen comes to Buffalo from the Latvian national team, where he served as an assistant coach on Ted Nolan’s staff over the past two seasons (2012-2014) including the Olympic Games in Sochi. He spent eight years of his 20-year coaching career at Acadia University (1987-1995), a period that included winning the program’s first national championship in 1993. Coolen is also a former head coach of the University of New Brunswick (1998-2000) and the QMJHL's Moncton Wilcats (2000-2002). He has coaching experience around the world, including the Elite leagues of Germany, Switzerland, and Finland.
Irbe enjoyed a 13-year, 568-game NHL career as a goaltender for the San Jose Sharks, Dallas Stars, Vancouver Canucks and Carolina Hurricanes. Selected to two NHL All-Star Games (1994 and 1999), Irbe helped lead the Hurricanes to a berth in the 2002 Stanley Cup Final and represented Latvia at two Winter Olympic Games (2002 and 2006). Following his playing career, the Riga, Latvia native served as the goaltending coach for his hometown Dinamo Riga during the 2008-09 season, before joining the Washington Capitals organization to serve in the same capacity from 2009-11. Most recently, Irbe worked alongside Nolan as an assistant coach for Team Latvia at the 2013 IIHF World Championship in Helsinki, Finland.