The Buffalo Junior Sabres have hired ex-Sabres forward John Tucker to be head coach of their Ontario Junior Hockey League team.
He takes over for ex-Sabres captain Michael Peca, who will remain the team’s general manager but has added other duties to his expanding role in the Junior Sabres youth hockey organization.
Tucker, who spent parts of eight seasons during his 12-year NHL career with the Sabres, is founder and director of Xtra-Ice, an elite training academy based in Tampa, Fla., whose mission is to advance professional hockey for youths in the state of Florida. He also coached HC Asiago in Italy for several years, winning two championships.
Tucker, who may be best remembered in Western New York for helping the Sabres get back in the 1988 Adams Division semifinals with a four-goal game in Game Three that cut the Bruins’ series lead to 2-1, takes over a Junior Sabres team that is coming off back-to-back West Division championships – a first for the program at the Junior A level.
Peca, meanwhile, has been named director of hockey operations for the entire Junior Sabres organization and will also drop down to coach the Junior Sabres’ Bantam major team.