(Amherst, NY) – The Buffalo Junior Sabres announced today that General Manager Michael Peca will assume the role of Head Coach at the conclusion of the 2011-2012 season. Grant Ledyard has stepped down as head coach, effective immediately. Russ Certo will serve as the team’s interim head coach for the remainder of this season with Peca serving as an assistant.
“Grant has passionately coached this team and has done all he can to help us move this program forward over the past five years. The Junior Sabres are still in Buffalo in part because of Grant’s commitment,” said Larry Playfair, president of the Buffalo Sabres Alumni Association and Buffalo Junior Sabres. “Michael has been a very involved General Manager and will now take an on-ice role when his schedule permits. Russ knows the team and will ensure continuity while Mike makes the transition to head coach for next season. It’s an unusual situation, but they are both exceptional people and we are confident they will make it work.”
Peca will remain active with local youth hockey following this transition, including coaching his son’s team.
The Junior Sabres’ next game is Tuesday, January 10 at the Northtown Center at Amherst, 1615 Amherst Manor Drive (between Maple and Millersport). The Junior Sabres will host the Georgetown Raiders in Ontario Junior Hockey League action, beginning at 7:30pm.
The Junior Sabres compete in the junior-A level Ontario Junior Hockey League as its only U.S.-based franchise. As a junior-A level program, the Junior Sabres develop elite level players for consideration with higher-level hockey programs, most notably college hockey. Founded in 1975, the Junior Sabres organization, which has also operated as the Niagara Scenics and Buffalo Lightning in its history, has developed hundreds of players for consideration by higher-level hockey programs, most notably NCAA college hockey. Some have also advanced to careers in the NHL including Ryan Callahan, Lee Stempniak, Brian Gionta, Kevyn Adams, Todd Marchant, Aaron Miller, Bob Beers and Jeff Farkas.
For more information on the Junior Sabres, visit www.buffalojuniorsabres.com.