2) Lack of professional coaching experience not a deterrent
With the Amerks’ change to focusing on the development of their young prospects, you theoretically want someone who has plenty of experience. Interestingly though, Appert has no experience of coaching at the professional level.
However, that should not be seen as a negative in this case. All you need to do is take a look at Appert’s resume, to get an indication of why the Buffalo Sabres’ are convinced he’s the right man to coach their youngsters.
Appert started off his coaching career as an assistant coach at The University of Denver between 1999-2006. During this time, he helped them win two NCAA National Championships, three WCHA playoff championships and a couple of WCHA regular-season titles.
Appert was then hired as RPI (Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute) hockey coach. Opinion is divided on how successful he was during his 11 seasons, as he compiled a 152-221-48 record but also led RPI to the 2011 NCAA Tournament.
Certainly there were a lot of ups and downs, with Appert proud of what he achieved but also objective about his last few years with the team. As reported by Pete Dougherty of Times Union, he said:
"“The reality is we took a program that was real down, we brought it back to national prominence, we got back to the NCAA Tournament, we had a real good six- or seven-year run. Unfortunately two of the last three years have been below standards. I’m a big enough guy to admit that.”"
Following his firing from RPI, Appert was named head coach of USA Hockey NTDP. He also has experience as a head coach and an assistant at international events for Team USA, highlighting his ability to deal with young players.