By Erica Whyte
Amerks name their captains
Rochester Americans head coach Chris Taylor has named Kevin Porter while Nathan Paetsch and Taylor Fedun will both be assistant captains.
During the announcement, Taylor emphasized how much thought was put into these leadership roles, and why the lettered players are so important.
“They’re an extension of us. All players are, but most important is our captain and our assistant captains. They lead the way in the dressing room, and they put a lot of internal pressure on the players to make them better. Just how they act and what they do around the dressing room will definitely lead by example. That’s why we picked those three,” Taylor said.
No stranger to wearing the Amerks ‘C’, Porter, 31, was a two-time Amerks captain during the 2012-13 and 2013-14 seasons. Between then and now, Porter won a Stanley Cup with the Pittsburgh Penguins and spent time with their AHL club, the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins, where Taylor served as an assistant coach last season.
Similar to Porter, Paetsch is also familiar with wearing the C, winning hardware and being mentored by Taylor. Last season Paetsch, 34, won the Calder Cup with the Grand Rapids Griffins, where he was captain. Returning to Rochester for the third time in his career, Paetsch spent two of three years of his first stint in the Flower City being captained by Taylor. Together, Paetsch and Taylor helped the Amerks win the Macgregor Kilpatrick Trophy for the AHL’s best regular season record in 2004-05.
As the only lettered player who was with the Sabres organization last season, Fedun will be wearing the ‘A’ for the second year in a row. Fedun, 29, began his pro career after graduating from Princeton with a degree in mechanical and aerospace engineering.
Redmond makes strong first impression
In addition to announcing the leadership squad, Taylor touched on the organization’s newest acquisition in 27-year-old defenseman Zach Redmond. The veteran blueliner was acquired in yesterday’s trade involving the parent Buffalo Sabres, who shipped forward Nicolas Deslauriers to the Montreal Canadiens. Deslauriers was waived by the Sabres earlier in the week and thus reassigned to the Amerks, however never reported to Rochester.
The Traverse City, Mich., native will be the Amerks seventh rostered veteran. Taylor emphasized that this will only fuel the older players to play the best they can, since only five vets can play per game.
“We’ll have to look at that and make sure we put guys where they’re supposed to be, and the best players are going to play.”