The Buffalo Sabres fired Rochester Americans coach Dan Lambert today, ending his one-year run with the AHL affiliate.
Given Lambert, 47, was hired by former general manager Tim Murray and coach Dan Bylsma, who were fired April 20, new Sabres GM Jason Botterill was almost expected to make the move.
“I would like to thank Dan for his hard work and contributions to our organization during the last two seasons and I wish him the best in the future,” Botterill said in a statement. “I felt this was the right move for both the Sabres and Amerks and we will begin the process of searching for a new head coach immediately.”
Incredibly, the Amerks, who haven’t won a playoff series since 2004-05, are looking for their fourth coach in four years.
The Amerks went 32-41-0-3 in 2016-17, finishing sixth in the AHL North Division and missing the playoffs for the third straight season.
Botterill has a successful history in AHL management, having led the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins to eight straight playoff appearances as GM of Pittsburgh’s AHL affiliate. He left that role and his associate GM job in Pittsburgh to join the Sabres on May 11.
The Sabres hired Lambert after he led the junior Kelowna Rockets to a Western Hockey League championship in 2014-15.
Murray wanted him to coach Rochester after gaining more pro coaching experience, so Lambert served a one-year “apprenticeship” as a Sabres assistant in 2015-16 under Bylsma, his friend and former teammate. Lambert even moved to Rochester and commuted to Buffalo.