1) Hiring represents a new philosophy for Amerks
When Adams was hired as the new GM, he made an immediate impact on the Buffalo Sabres by firing 22 members of the staff. What concerned us was that this firing spree included removing Chris Taylor from his position as head coach of the Amerks.
Taylor had done a tremendous job during his time in Rochester, as he compiled a 116-65-33 record. He had led the team to two consecutive playoff appearances and they were in place for another one when the AHL season was suspended, before ultimately being cancelled.
At the time of the firing, Taylor said Adams didn’t explain why, in a conversation which apparently lasted less than a minute. However, there appears to now be a better understanding of why Taylor was removed and it apparently came down to wanting a shift in philosophy.
As per Bill Hoppe of Buffalo Hockey Beat, the Sabres are planning to field a younger team in Rochester next season. For years, the organisation has spent extensive money on veteran players to help compliment the young prospects.
If true, this leads to the question of why didn’t the Sabres simply ask Taylor to concentrate more on player development? Or did they previously make this request and just felt he wasn’t fully embracing the new approach?
We will probably never know for sure, with only Adams’ comments during an interview with WGR 550 back in June to go on. As per Hoppe, the Sabres’ GM said:
"“It’s a model that we want to create down there (in Rochester) … and I’m not saying that wasn’t happening before with Chris and his staff, but it’s just more on the roster and how it’s put together.”"
At the time, you know critics would have seen this as Adams subtly putting blame on Taylor. Which is why the GM also made sure to add that the former Amerks head coach did an excellent job during his time in Rochester.
Regardless, Adams and company have decided to take a different direction with their AHL club, in the hope this will in turn benefit the Sabres. And as far as they are concerned, Appert is a better fit than Taylor.