Buffalo Sabers Sign GM Kevyn Adams for Contract Extension

Kevyn Adams oversaw the Buffalo Sabers overhaul of hockey operations, hired Don Granato as coach, nurtured the franchise through its feud with its former star, Jack Eichel, and reformed the organization’s roster from top to bottom.

Although Sabers is still in the early stages of Adams’ plan to build a winner at Buffalo, his work as general manager in more than two calendar years has officially earned him a multi-year contract extension, Sabers announced Wednesday at the official start of training camp.

“Kevin’s leadership and vision over the past two seasons have proven invaluable, and I am confident he can continue to move us forward as an organization,” said Cypress owner Terry Pegula in a press release. “He is respected by players, coaches, staff and peers throughout the league alike for the poise he brings to himself and the respect he reciprocates with every individual he meets. He has grown in different roles throughout the organization, providing him with unique perspectives that help him perform at the highest level. level as general manager.

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“I, along with fans and the community, are thrilled to see Kevin continue to build a winning culture on and off the ice. Additionally, I appreciate his communication skills and dedication to the entire organization. I am thrilled to offer Kevin a contract and have him lead the Buffalo Sabers for several years to come.”

Adams, 47, a native of Clarence and a Stanley Cup champion during his playing career in the NHL, has proven effective since being promoted to general manager in June 2020.

“I don’t get too sentimental, but this is your dream job,” Adams said. “Not only is it a general manager job in the National Hockey League. But it is a general manager job for the Buffalo Sabers.”

His first coaching appointment, Granato, transformed Cypress on the ice by implementing a fast-paced style of play that suits the club’s young talents. Adams pivoted after the 2020-21 season as Buffalo suffered an 18-game no-worst streak of franchise that cost Ralph Krueger his job as coach and led to the departures of veteran and charter striker Taylor Hall and Eric Stahl, both of whom were trading draft picks.

Adams then shipped former franchise cornerstones Rasmus Restollinen and Sam Reinhart in the summer of 2021 while continuing to feud with Eshel over the captain’s preference to undergo a prosthetic disc replacement to repair his injured neck. The six-month saga ended in November 2021 with Eichel’s trade to the Vegas Golden Knights, which brought a large number of willing NHL players and prospects to the Buffalo.

For Eichel, the club’s childhood fan Alex Tuch was acquired by Sabers while growing up in Baldwinsville; Peyton Crips Center. and two draft picks, including a first-round pick that Buffalo used in July in Swedish quarterback Noah Ostlund.

With Tuch and Krebs, and a healthy roster around them, Sabers experienced a surge late last season with percentage points ranking 13th.The tenth In the NHL from the beginning of March to the end of April, a period of 26 games.

Praised for his patience and drive by others in the organization, Adams chose to appoint Granato rather than a big name, veteran coach in the NHL in the summer of 2021. Granato, who had significant coaching experience at every other level, including the American Hockey League immediately Injecting confidence into the key young players in Sabers by eliminating the fear that a mistake could lead to a quick bench.

It’s all inclusive,” said Jerry Forton, director of amateur scouting at Sabers. “Let’s do their jobs. And he’s done a great job bringing this whole organization together. I’ve seen it myself. We’ve obviously been through a lot, not just the last month or so but the whole organization has been through a lot since I’ve been here. To see the coaches, development staff, Rochester staff And all of our support staff, how everyone works together, it all starts with Pegula and Kevin….but he’s been great on the floor. He’s always been professional and includes everyone. He’s respectful. And he has a lot on his page in managing so many people. And he does that. with dignity and professionalism.”

How GM Kevin Adams' plan for Cypress shaped during his time in Carolina

Memories and experiences from everything that happened behind the scenes during the Carolina Hurricanes Championships shaped the way Adams tries to build a winner in his hometown.

Rasmus Dahlen emerged as one of the league’s best defenders as the first All-Star season in 2021-22, Taj Thompson scored an impressive 38 goals after switching to position in training camp, and Jeff Skinner returned to his formation with a 33- goals season showing and nearly every other important young player on the roster. Remarkable progress was made under Granato’s leadership.

The Cypress finish through 2021-22 has drawn more enthusiasm from the fan base than at any other time in the latter half of the current 11-year league drought. Adams’ progress in building the potential pipeline was on display at the development camp in July and at challenging prospects last week, when Buffalo was able to show his embarrassment of fortunes yet to make it to the NHL, including Matt Savoy, Noah Ostlund, Jerry Kulich and Isaacs Rosen, Devon Levy, and Alexander Kissakov, among others.

Although Sabers haven’t yet pressured a playoff with Adams as general manager, public opinion of him in the role has changed dramatically since his first day on the job when he was tasked with firing 22 hockey operations employees, including former general manager Jason Potrell. .

Gradually, Adams rebuilt the cast. He brought in Assistant General Manager Jason Karmanos, hired Sam Ventura to run a larger analytics department, and eventually renewed the exploratory crew to include Russia coverage. With success on the ice, Adams cleared questions from the fan base and elsewhere about his willingness to take on the job after spending his career after playing in leadership positions at LECOM Harborcenter and the Sabers business operations.

Adams had no experience in the NHL front office but joined the organization as a development coach in 2009 and moved to the coaching staff for the 2011-12 and 2012-13 seasons. Prior to September 2019, when Adams was officially appointed Senior Vice President of Commercial Operations at Sabers, he spent more than five years as director of the Academy of Hockey at LECOM Harborcenter and several months as general manager of the complex.

Adams brought a different view and plan. One of his most controversial decisions early on was working well for the Sabers. He chose to fire Chris Taylor as coach of the Rochester Americans despite a successful track record in the regular season and one major success story in Victor Olofson. Adams replaced Taylor with Seth Appert, who had been a head coach in the U.S. hockey team’s development program.

Appert led the Amerks into the second round of the Calder Cup Playoffs this spring, the furthest Rochester has offered since 2005, and along with his assistant coaches, Michael Peca and Mike Weber, developed the organization’s two best prospects into NHL-ready teams-makers: Jack Quinn and JJ Petrka.

The Saber missiles reached another stage in Adams’ plan. Fitted out with plenty of space, he signed Thompson to a seven-year, $50 million contract extension. On the ice, the club has an impressive lineup in defence, led by Dahlin, but also includes first draft picks Owen Bauer, Matthias Samuelsson, Henri Jukiharjo and recently signed Ilya Lubchkin. In the future, the Sabers have many talented strikers who have not yet reached their potential and plan to produce more offensively as time goes on.

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