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SACCO ON HOCKEY HOTLINE

Buffalo's newest assistant coach talks about joining the organization

Wednesday, 07.03.2013 / 12:44 PM / News
By Chris Ryndak  - Sabres.com (@chrisryndak)
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SACCO ON HOCKEY HOTLINE
Joe Sacco wanted to continue coaching in the National Hockey League and he found that his best opportunity was located in Buffalo.

                                                      Joe Sacco (Michael Martin/NHLI)

Joe Sacco wanted to continue coaching in the National Hockey League and he found that his best opportunity was located in Buffalo.

Sabres coach Ron Rolston announced late Tuesday afternoon that Sacco, coach of the Colorado Avalanche for the past four seasons, had joined his staff as an assistant coach.

“It was never an option to sit on the sidelines and wait. This is what I do. I like to work in the game of hockey, so I’m excited to be here,” Sacco said on Sabres Hockey Hotline with Kevin Sylvester on Wednesday.

LISTEN TO THE FULL INTERVIEW

Rolston said he thought Sacco’s experience with the Avalanche would be extremely helpful as the Sabres focus on developing a younger core of players. Matt Duchene and 2011-12 Calder Trophy-winner Gabriel Landeskog are among the talented young forwards Sacco coached in Colorado. Duchene was a finalist for the Calder Trophy in 2009-10.

Sacco’s club made the Stanley Cup Playoffs in 2009-10 – his first in Colorado and first as an NHL head coach – and he was a finalist for the Jack Adams Award as the League’s best coach that season.

“We had a lot of young players coming in through our lineup,” Sacco said. “If we weren’t the youngest team, we were certainly one of the younger teams every year.”

Sacco last coached in the World Championships in May, leading Team USA to a bronze medal.

Sacco had interviewed with other teams for head coaching positions, but when those didn’t pan out, he started to look at other options. He could have found a job as a head coach in the American Hockey League, but he said he wanted to stay in the NHL. Sacco talked about assistant coaching jobs with other NHL teams as well.

He then heard from Rolston, and after some meetings with him and Sabres general manager Darcy Regier, Sacco agreed that the Sabres were a good fit for him.

“Now with some younger players being thrown into the lineup in Buffalo, I think that that’s going to be a good situation not only for them, but for myself – to be able to be work with those types of players and having that background with those guys and trying to help them develop into solid, consistent National Hockey League players day-in and day-out,” Sacco said.

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STANDINGS

EASTERN CONFERENCE
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 p - BOS 82 54 19 9 261 177 117
2 y - PIT 82 51 24 7 249 207 109
3 x - TBL 82 46 27 9 240 215 101
4 x - MTL 82 46 28 8 215 204 100
5 x - NYR 82 45 31 6 218 193 96
6 x - PHI 82 42 30 10 236 235 94
7 x - CBJ 82 43 32 7 231 216 93
8 x - DET 82 39 28 15 222 230 93
9 WSH 82 38 30 14 235 240 90
10 NJD 82 35 29 18 197 208 88
11 OTT 82 37 31 14 236 265 88
12 TOR 82 38 36 8 231 256 84
13 CAR 82 36 35 11 207 230 83
14 NYI 82 34 37 11 225 267 79
15 FLA 82 29 45 8 196 268 66
16 BUF 82 21 51 10 157 248 52

STATS

2013-2014 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
C. Hodgson 72 20 24 -26 44
T. Ennis 80 21 22 -25 43
D. Stafford 70 16 18 -19 34
C. Ehrhoff 79 6 27 -27 33
C. Stewart 63 15 11 0 26
C. Conacher 79 7 19 1 26
T. Myers 62 9 13 -26 22
Z. Girgensons 70 8 14 -6 22
M. Foligno 74 7 12 -17 19
J. McBain 69 6 11 -13 17
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
M. Neuvirth 4 8 2 .921 2.78
J. Enroth 4 17 5 .911 2.82