The Buffalo Sabres' coaching staff is receiving a shake-up. The team announced today that it will not renew the contract of associate coach Brian McCutcheon. He has spent the last 11 seasons alongside Lindy Ruff, including the past five as associate coach.
"This was a difficult decision for me to make," Ruff said. "After meeting with Brian, I felt that we needed to go in a different direction with my staff moving forward."
Prior to joining Ruff, McCutcheon was the coach of the Sabres' affiliate in Rochester. From 1997 to 2000, McCutcheon compiled a record of 128-82-9. The Amerks made two appearances in the Calder Cup finals, with McCutcheon finishing as a runner-up for AHL Coach of the Year in 1999 and 2000.
"I want to personally thank everyone involved in the many great seasons and moments that I have had with the Buffalo Sabres organization," McCutcheon said. "It was a great experience working with Darcy, Lindy, James Patrick, Scott Arniel, Don Lever and all the players that I have spent time with over the years. It was a difficult decision, but I agree that at this point in my career, it is time to move on to something different. I'm looking forward to exploring different career options, including any offered by the Sabres organization."
General Manager Darcy Regier said McCutcheon will be considered for the Sabres' minor-league coaching job, which opened Wednesday when the Florida Panthers hired former Portland coach Kevin Dineen.
"We have not closed the doors on a different opportunity within the organization for Brian in the future," Regier said.