By John Vogl
James Patrick has been in Buffalo since 1998. He played for the Sabres in the Stanley Cup finals. He was an assistant coach when they won the Presidents' Trophy in 2007.
He'll always cherish his time, but it's over now as he and fellow assistant Kevyn Adams have been fired by Ron Rolston. They were holdovers from the staff of Lindy Ruff, and their departures were expected when Rolston had the interim tag removed from his coaching title this week.
"I was lucky to be here for 14 years," Patrick said by phone. "I love Buffalo and I love the Sabres. I was just so lucky to be able to work with great people, especially Lindy. To me, Lindy was the spirit and heart and soul of the Sabres, and to learn from him and work with him was such a great experience."
The 49-year-old said he plans to continue coaching.
The Sabres ranked 29th in power-play efficiency this season and 26th in penalty killing. They also lose 1,820 games of NHL experience with the loss of Patrick and Adams.
"It allows you to know all the situations that players are going through," Patrick said, "from young, naive, inexperienced players to older players still trying to hang on and can sometimes lack confidence but can still be real good, effective players. I guess what Kevyn and I can always relate to is we know exactly what they’re going through in all those situations."