August 18: The Sabres have made it official, announcing Appert as the new head coach of the Americans. New Sabres GM Kevyn Adams released a statement on the move:
Seth has a proven track record of developing talent at various levels and we are looking forward to him being the next head coach of the Rochester Americans. His approach to coaching and leadership, both on and off the ice, is a natural fit with the philosophy Ralph Krueger and I have started to implement as we build the organization. Seth will be an asset to Rochester and to the Sabres organization, and I’m excited to see him succeed behind the bench with the Amerks.
August 14: As part of a massive shakeup earlier this offseason, Buffalo let go of their entire AHL coaching staff. It appears that new GM Kevyn Adams has found his next coach for AHL Rochester as Lance Lysowski of The Buffalo News reports that Seth Appert will be appointed to the position with an official announcement expected next week.
This will be Appert’s first professional coaching opportunity but he has plenty of experience behind the bench. He has spent the last three seasons with the USA Hockey National Development Team Program in a head coaching role which was preceded by an 11-year stint as the head coach at RPI. Before that, he was an assistant for nine years at Denver. Appert was pegged to be head coach for the USA’s entry in the World Under-18 Championship before the pandemic put an end to that tournament.
In recent years, the Sabres have iced a veteran-laden team in Rochester but by all accounts, that approach will be shifting to a younger, more cost-efficient team. Accordingly, bringing in a head coach with considerable experience working with young players makes a lot of sense for Buffalo. While the team may not have quite as much success as they did under former coach Chris Taylor (who led the team to a 116-65-33 record in his time with the team), the goal will be to have more success on the player development front, an area that the Sabres have struggled with in recent years.
Lysowski notes that former NHL winger Alex Tanguay and J.D. Forrest were others considered for the position. Tanguay is an assistant coach with AHL Iowa, the affiliate of the Wild but his coaching experience is limited to just this season. Forrest, meanwhile, has been an assistant with Pittsburgh’s AHL squad in Wilkes-Barre/Scranton for the last four years.