The Buffalo Sabres announced today that Ed Weisbeck is the 2008 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.” Weisbeck will receive his award during tonight’s game against the New York Rangers.
Weisbeck is the 23rd recipient of the Duffett Award. Weisbeck began his youth hockey coaching career in 1966 with Amherst Youth Hockey. He spent two years teaching children ages 6-8. In 1969, Weisbeck started the Latimer hockey program for children in Elma, Marilla and Wales, N.Y. This program was for kids in grades 1 thru 8. Weisbeck taught over 3,000 children in the 25 years he coached at Latimer. Thanks to Weisbeck’s dedication and determination, the Latimer hockey program is still going strong today.
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.