Buffalo Sabres general manager Kevyn Adams served as head coach for Thursday’s road game against the Pittsburgh Penguins after interim coach Don Granato and assistant coach Matt Ellis were placed in the NHL’s COVID-19 protocol.
The team revealed the situation about two hours before faceoff.
Adams said that neither Granato nor Ellis was experiencing symptoms.
Seth Appert – coach of Buffalo’s American Hockey League affiliate, the Rochester Americans – was summoned to join the team. Adams was hoping Appert would arrive at some point during Thursday’s game.
Adams was an assistant coach for the Sabres for two seasons (2011-13). He was named general manager last June.
The situation adds another challenge for a team that is mired in a franchise-worst 0-13-2 slide since last winning on Feb. 23. Buffalo is 6-21-4 overall with an NHL-worst 16 points.
“It’s the cliche thing to say, but it’s the reality of what every team deals with,” Adams said prior to the game. “It’s next man up. You have to be ready to go when you’re name’s called. Nobody in this league feels sorry for you; doesn’t matter who’s in the lineup, you need to go out and play the game the right way.
“I told the guys before, I’m going to be challenging them and hard. Let’s go put our best foot forward. Those guys will be in the lineup and it’s a great opportunity. That’s the way you have to look at it.”
Granato became interim coach last week when Ralph Krueger was fired as head coach. The Sabres lost each of Granato’s first three games behind the bench.
–Field Level Media