Hockey Operations Department
Jason Karmanos - General Manager
The Buffalo Sabres named Jason Karmanos as the team’s associate general manager on April 14, 2021.
In his role, Karmanos serves as the general manager of the AHL's Rochester Americans and oversees the Sabres' scouting, player development and analytics departments.
A native of Orchard Lake, Michigan, Karmanos spent six seasons (2014-20) with the Pittsburgh Penguins, where he served as the assistant general manager for three seasons. He was the club's vice president of hockey operations prior to that.
In his roles with Pittsburgh, Karmanos spearheaded the revamping of the Penguins' use of hockey analytics to assist management in their decision-making process.
He was also a member of the Carolina Hurricanes' front office from 1998-2013 and served as an assistant general manager for 13 of those seasons.
Karmanos, 48, has been part of three Stanley Cup championships. He won with Carolina in 2006 and with Pittsburgh in 2016 and 2017.
Sabres general manager Kevyn Adams was an alternate captain on the 2005-06 Hurricanes. Adams and Karmanos were also teammates on the United States' 1994 World Junior Championship team.
Before becoming a hockey executive, Karmanos played four seasons at Harvard, where he earned a Bachelor of Arts degree with honors. He played one season for the Raleigh Ice Caps of the ECHL in 1996-97, but an eye injury ended his playing career.
Seth Appert - Head Coach
Seth Appert enters his fourth season as head coach of the Rochester Americans in 2023-24 after being named to the position on August 18, 2020.
Appert is 84-71-15-7 over his first three seasons behind the Amerks bench, which includes a 37-win campaign in 2021-22 that culminated with an extended playoff run as part of team’s first playoff appearance in four years. After leading Rochester to a fifth-place finish in the American Hockey League’s North Division standings and becoming the sixth straight head coach to reach the 30-win mark in his first full season at the helm, Appert spearheaded one of the most impressive playoff runs in nearly two decades. Under Appert, the Amerks won their first playoff series since 2005 and advanced to the third round of Calder Cup Playoffs for the first time since 2004, first sweeping Belleville in the play-in round before ousting Utica, one of the AHL’s top teams in the regular season, in the best-of-five North Division Semifinals.
Last season, under Appert's guidance, Appert led the club to its most impressive and deepest playoff run in 23 years as they reached the Eastern Conference Finals. After losing three straight to close out the month of January, the resilient Amerks closed out the regular season going 14-8-4-2, earning points in 20 of their final 28 games.
After dropping their first two games of the Calder Cup Playoffs, the Amerks rattled off seven straight wins to complete the series comeback over the Syracuse Crunch before sweeping the top-seeded Toronto Marlies, who finished nine points ahead of Rochester during the regular season.
That, of course, set up the Eastern Conference Finals showdown with the Hershey Bears in a battle of the league’s two cornerstone franchises. The Amerks came within two wins of advancing to the Calder Cup Finals for the first time since 2000 and were still playing hockey in June for the first time in 23 years.
Appert was responsible for the development of the two of the league’s most dynamic scorers in rookie forwards Jack Quinn and JJ Peterka, both of whom would later be named to the AHL’s All-Rookie Team and Quinn earning the honors as the league’s Most Outstanding Rookie. Both also made their National Hockey League debuts with the Buffalo Sabres in 2021-22, representing two of 14 different Amerks to appear in at least one game with the big club.
In his first campaign behind the Amerks bench, he guided the team to an 11-15-2-1 record over a condensed 29-game season in 2020-21. Despite the shortened season, however, player development was still very much a priority for Appert and his staff as evidenced by more than a dozen players earning recalls to the parent Buffalo Sabres, including Appert himself at one point. Nine made their Sabres debuts and five made their NHL debuts.
Rochester also had five different goaltenders dress during the 2020-21 season, the most since the club used seven in 2014-15. All three goaltenders to play with both Rochester and Buffalo earned a win with each club, with both Ukko-Pekka Luukkonen and Michael Houser picking up their first NHL victories, respectively.
The 33rd head coach in the 67-year history of the franchise, Appert has a long history of developing players at all levels. Prior to joining the Amerks, he spent three years (2017-2020) alternating the head coaching duties between the Under-18 and Under-17 teams at USA Hockey’s National Team Development Program (NTDP).
With the NTDP, Appert oversaw a development model that produced an NHL-record 17 draft picks in the 2019 NHL Draft, including eight that were selected in the first round. Among those included the highly touted forward Jack Hughes, who was chosen first overall by the New Jersey Devils.
During his first season with the NTDP in 2017-18, Appert guided the Under-18 Team to a gold medal at the Five Nations Tournament while also helping Team USA to an Eastern Conference-best 41-18-0-1 record during the regular season, the team’s best finish since joining the United States Hockey League prior to the 2009-10 campaign. Team USA, which featured incoming defenseman and Buffalo Sabres’ second-round pick Mattias Samuelsson, led the USHL in wins (41) and tied for second in overall points (83) behind only the Waterloo Black Hawks.
In 2018, Appert led the U.S. Under-18 Men’s National Team to a silver medal at the IIHF Under-18 World Junior Championship and gold at the same tournament the year before as an assistant coach in 2017. His international resume also includes back-to-back years as an assistant coach with the U.S. National Team, winning a bronze medal at the Men’s World Championship in 2018.
Prior to joining USA Hockey, the Cottage Grove, Minn., native spent 20 years in the NCAA Division I collegiate coaching ranks, including 11 seasons as head coach of the men’s program at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI). The Engineers advanced to the postseason each year under Appert, who guided the team to an appearance in the 2011 NCAA Tournament following a 20-win season before leading RPI to its best finish in more than two decades just two years later with a second-place finish in the ECAC standings to conclude the 2012-13 campaign.
The first two seasons of Appert’s tenure at RPI were highlighted by back-to-back titles in the Governor’s Cup Tournament – the program’s first titles of any kind since 1998 – in addition to earning points against six nationally-ranked opponents.
He departed RPI following the 2016-17 season with a 152-221-48 regular-season record.
Appert, who formerly served as president of the American Hockey Coaches Association, also spent nine seasons as an assistant coach at the University of Denver, where he helped the Pioneers to a pair of NCAA National Championships as well as three WCHA playoff championships and two WCHA regular-season titles. The Pioneers also averaged more than 23 wins per season with Appert behind the bench.
Over his 20 years at the collegiate level, Appert has aided in the development of 13 All-Americans, 37 all-league selections, four Players of the Year, four Hobey Baker Finalists and at least 23 players who have graduated to the NHL, including former Amerks Jerry D’Amigo, Jason Kasdorf and Erik Burgdoerfer.
D’Amigo played one season under Appert at RPI in 2009-10, ranking fifth in the nation in points per game while leading the team in game-winning goals. In his lone season at RPI, D’Amigo was named the ECAC Rookie of the Year and was named to the ECAC All-Rookie Team. Kasdorf, meanwhile, played four years under Appert at RPI, earning ECAC Rookie of the Year and All-ECAC Second Team honors as a freshman during the 2012-13 season. Both he and Burgdoerfer would make their NHL debuts with the Buffalo Sabres.
Appert is a product of the NCAA himself, having been a four-year letter-winner as a goaltender at Ferris State University from 1992-96.
He owns a Bachelor’s degree in Public Relations from Ferris State and earned his Master’s degree in Management from the University of Denver in 1999. Appert and his wife, Jill, have two daughters, Addi and Campbell.
All-Time Head Coaching Record: Appert
Season Team GP W L T PTS GF GA Finish
AHL Totals 181 84 71 22 190 579 619
Pro Totals 181 84 71 22 190 579 619
Nathan Paetsch - Assistant Coach
Nathan Paetsch enters first season as Assistant Coach in 2023-24 after spending the two previous seasons as a Development Coach for the Buffalo Sabres organization.
In his new role, Paetsch, a native of LeRoy, Sask.,primarily will oversee the defense and the penatly kill units.
A two-time Calder Cup winner, Paetsch announced his retirement in December 2020, ending an illustrious 17-year playing career with nearly 900 games in the National Hockey League, American Hockey League and the Deutsche Eishockey Liga in Germany.
The 38-year-old Paetsch appeared in 258 career games over parts of seven seasons in the red, white and blue, recording 100 points on 23 goals and 77 assists. His seven seasons in Rochester trail only Darryl Sly for the most by a defenseman in the 66-year history of the franchise and he’s one of only 20 defensemen all-time with at least 250 games as an Amerk. He also added four points (2+2) in 26 playoff appearances for Rochester, leading the Amerks to the postseason in each of his first two years with the team.
It was off the ice, however, where Paetsch’s contributions were the most impactful. In his seven seasons with the team, he was unanimously named the winner of the organization’s McCulloch Trophy for his commitment to the Rochester community on five different occasions, the most by any player. He also remains the only Amerk in franchise history to receive the award, coinciding with being named Rochester’s AHL Man of the Year for his community service, in three straight years from 2018-2020.
Paetsch is also a four-time recipient of his team’s AHL Man of the Year award as well as a three-time nominee for the league’s Fred T. Hunt Award, presented annually to the player who best exemplifies the qualities of sportsmanship, determination and dedication to hockey.
A seventh-round selection (202nd overall) of the Buffalo Sabres in 2003, Paetsch joined the Amerks as a rookie for the 2003-04 season following five years of junior hockey with the Moose Jaw Warriors. The following year, he and the Amerks enjoyed a record-setting season for the most points and longest home win streak while winning the Macgregor Kilpatrick Trophy as regular season champions thanks to an AHL-best 51-19-4-6 record. Paetsch would be the only Amerk to appear in all 80 games that season.
His best season as an Amerk came during the 2005-06 campaign when he posted career-highs in goals (11), assists (39) and points (50) to lead all Rochester defensemen and finish ninth in scoring among all AHL blueliners. For his efforts, he would be named Amerks MVP, becoming just the third defenseman in team history to earn the honors.
That year would also see Paetsch make his NHL debut for the Buffalo Sabres, paving way for a full-time spot in the NHL with the Sabres and later the Columbus Blue Jackets over the next four seasons.
Paetsch played an integral role during Buffalo’s record-setting season in 2006-07, his first at the NHL level, recording a career-high 24 points (2+22) in 63 games. He helped the Sabres set franchise records for the most consecutive wins and road wins to begin a season while also leading Buffalo to the 50-win mark for just the second time in franchise history. The Sabres also tied the franchise mark for the most points in a season on their way to capturing their first President’s Trophy as regular season champions and advancing to the Eastern Conference Finals of the 2007 Stanley Cup Playoffs.
Paetsch would play parts of the next three seasons with the Sabres and Blue Jackets, totaling 42 points (7+35) over 167 career NHL games.
Following a brief return to Rochester in 2010-11 and a season abroad in Germany, Paetsch spent five seasons with the Grand Rapids Griffins, where he led the team to five straight playoff appearances and two Calder Cup championships while also serving as team captain during the 2016-17 campaign.
He rejoined the Amerks for his third stint in Rochester prior to the 2017-18 season, playing out the final 43 games of his career with 14 points (2+2) over his final three seasons.
In his AHL career, the 6-foot-1, 195-pound blueliner amassed 259 points (52+207) over 651 career AHL games with Rochester, Grand Rapids and Syracuse, while also adding 34 points (5+29) in 104 playoff contests. During the 2016-17 season with Grand Rapids, he became just the 18th player in AHL history to play in 100 or more Calder Cup Playoff games.
He departed the organization ranked 25th in scoring among all-time defensemen in franchise history, joining the likes of Amerks Hall of Famers Jim Wiemer and Randy Cunneyworth to begin and end their playing careers in Rochester.
Paetsch resides in Spencerport with his wife, Jaclyn, and their two children, Kellen (11) and Mira (9).
Vinny Prospal - Assistant Coach
Vinny Prospal enters first season as Assistant Coach in 2023-24 and will primarily will oversee the forwards and the power play units.
Prospal joins the Amerks following three seasons (2018-2021) as head coach of HC Ceske Budejovice of the Czech Extraliga, with whom he began his playing career and had two subsequent stints with in 2004-05 and again in 2012-13. He led the team to back-to-back league championships at the second-tier level (Czech Republic Hockey League, Chance Liga) in 2018-19 and 2019-20, going 63-18-5 during the regular season, and was named the League’s Coach of the Year following the 2020-21 campaign.
Prospal’s professional coaching experience also includes a two-year stint as an assistant coach of the Czech national team from 2016-2018.
A native of Ceske Budejovice, Czech Republic, Prospal amassed 765 points on 255 goals and 510 assists over a 20-year playing career highlighted by 1,108 NHL games with Columbus, New York Rangers, Tampa Bay, Anaheim, Florida, Ottawa and Philadelphia. He also added 35 points (10+25) in 65 career playoff appearances.
A third-round (71st overall) selection of Philadelphia Flyers in 1993, Prospal was a five-time 20-goal scorer and reached the 50-point on nine occasions, including six straight seasons with 50 or more points from 2001-02 to 2007-08.
He posted his best season during the 2005-06 campaign when he set career-highs in goals (25), assists (55) and points (80) while appearing in 81 games for the Lightning. He finished second on the team in scoring that year and ranked fifth in goals.
Prospal, who scored 34 game-winning goals over his illustrious career, played his final NHL season in 2012-13 when he led the Blue Jackets in scoring with 30 points in the lockout-shortened campaign. He announced his retirement on Jan. 28, 2014, ranking fourth in points scored, third in assists and sixth in games played among all Czech Republic born players in NHL history. He spent the remainder of the 2013-14 season as a scout with the New York Rangers.
Prospal’s professional playing career began with four seasons in the American Hockey League, including three with the Hershey Bears. He totaled 131 points (42+89) in 192 career games for the Bears before recording a career-best 95 points on 32 goals and 63 assists in 63 games with the Philadelphia Phantoms during the 1996-97 campaign, his final in the AHL. He finished the season tied for third in the league in scoring while earning First Team AHL All-Star honors and representing the Phantoms at the 1997 AHL All-Star Classic.
Internationally, in addition to his NHL accomplishments, Prospal helped the Czech Republic win the gold medal twice at the World Championship (2000, 2005), which included scoring the game-winning goal in the gold medal game in 2005. He was also a part of the Olympic bronze medal team (2006) in Torino, Italy. He represented his country on two occasions in the World Junior Championships (1993-94, 1994-95), once in the World Cup of Hockey (2004) and was a three-time participant in the World Championship (2000, 2004, 2005). He was named to his country’s 1998 Olympic team that won the Gold Medal in Nagano, but was unable to participate due to injury.
As a coach, he was behind the bench for the Czech Republic at the 2016 World Cup of Hockey.
Amir Gulati - Video Coach and Team Services
Amir Gulati enters his second season as Video Coach and Team Services with the Rochester Americans in 2023-2024. In his role, Gulati oversees all aspects of team travel and video operations.
A native of Buffalo, Gulati graduated from the University of Michigan in 2018, where he closely worked with the Men’s Ice Hockey Program as a Student Video Coordinator. Additionally, he majored in Creative Writing.
After graduation, Gulati spent three years writing novels, short stories, and freelance work before returning to the sport for the 2021-22 season, when he served as the Video Coach for the Iowa Heartlanders (ECHL) in their inaugural season.
Anthony Gaede - Assistant Video & Analytics Coordinator
Anthony Gaede enters his third season as Assistant Video & Analytics Coordinator with the Rochester Americans in 2023-2024.
Adam Mair - Director of Player Development
Adam Mair begins his third season as Director of Player Development for the Buffalo Sabres organization in 2023-24. Prior to being named in his current role, he served as an assistant coach with the Rochester Americans of the American Hockey League during the 2020-21 campaign.
Mair returns to Buffalo where he previously spent five seasons (2015-20) as a player development coach with the Sabres, and was instrumental in the development of the organization’s top prospects.
Prior to serving as player development coach for the Sabres, the Hamilton, Ontario, native spent two years as a coach at the Academy of Hockey and two years as the director of player development at Canisius College in Buffalo, joining the program shortly after his retirement following the 2011-12 season.
A fourth-round pick (84th overall) of the Toronto Maple Leafs in 1997, Mair spent the bulk of his 13-year pro playing career with the Sabres, playing a significant role in the team’s run to the Eastern Conference Finals in 2007. He finished his career with 114 points in (38+76) in 615 NHL games with Toronto, Los Angeles, Buffalo and New Jersey as well as eight points (3+5) in 35 playoff contests.
He also added 120 points (53+67) over 172 American Hockey League appearances for the St. John’s Maple Leafs, Manchester Monarchs and Springfield Falcons, including a career-high 49-point campaign as a rookie during the 1999-00 season.
Internationally, he led Team Canada to a silver medal with two points (1+1) in seven games at the 1999 IIHF World Junior Championship.
He and his wife, Elizabeth, have three sons: twins William and Finley (7), and Graham (4).
Tim Kennedy - Development Coach
Tim Kennedy enters his third season as a Development Coach for the Buffalo Sabres organization in 2023-24.
In his role, he works closely with the organization’s top offensive prospects, both in Buffalo and Rochester, playing a key role in their overall development process.
A native of Buffalo, Kennedy embarked on a 10-year playing career with his hometown Sabres, making his NHL debut in 2008-09 before earning a full-time spot the following season. His tenure in Buffalo saw him produce 26 points (10+16) in 79 games while also adding three points (1+2) in six playoff contests.
After leaving Buffalo, Kennedy continued his NHL career with stops in Florida, San Jose and Phoenix, totaling 39 points (15+24) over 162 games.
A former sixth-round (181st overall) pick of the Washington Capitals in 2005, Kennedy spent the majority of his career in the American Hockey League, including two separate stints with the Rochester Americans. Following a brief 14-game stay in 2010-11, Kennedy returned to the Amerks for the 2016-17 season. In all, Kennedy recorded 36 points (4+32) in 61 career games with the Amerks.
In 442 career AHL games with Portland, Rochester, Connecticut, Worcester, San Antonio, Hershey and Binghamton, Kennedy totaled 329 points on 79 goals and 250 assists. He was also named a 2015 AHL All-Star selection after leading all Hershey Bears skaters with 59 points (11+48) during the 2014-15 campaign.
Kennedy played three seasons of collegiate hockey at Michigan State University (MSU), leading the Spartans to an NCAA National Championship in 2007. He led the team in scoring in two of his three seasons at MSU, culminating with back-to-back 43-point showings. As a sophomore, he was named to both the Frozen Four and NCAA Midwest Regional All-Tournament Teams before earning MSU Offensive Player of the Year honors and a selection to the All-CCHA Second Team the following season.
Internationally, Kennedy represented the United States at the 2010 IIHF World Championship, scoring one goal in six games.
He resides in Buffalo with his wife, Janelle, twin daughters, Harper and June (8), and son, Jackson (7).
Zach Redmond - Development Coach
Zach Redmond enters his first season as a Development Coach for the Buffalo Sabres organization in 2023-24.
In his role, he will work closely with the organization’s top defensive prospects, both in Buffalo and Rochester, playing a key role in their overall development process.
Redmond, a two-time American Hockey League All-Star and 2019 Eddie Shore Award winner as the league’s top defenseman, returns to the Sabres organization after a three-year stint with EHC München of the German league to close out his 12-year professional playing career. In 140 games with the Red Bull, he totaled 33 goals and 79 assists for 112 points over 140 games from 2020-23. He also added six goals and seven assists in 25 playoff contests while helping the club to three consecutive postseason appearances, culminating with a Deutsche Eishockey Liga (DEL) championship in 2023 following a loss to Eisbären Berlin in the DEL Finals the previous year.
Prior to completing his career overseas, Redmond spent three years with the Rochester Americans, registering 41 goals, 86 assists and 127 points in 183 contests with the club from 2018-20. He also notched a pair of goals in six Calder Cup Playoff appearances with the Amerks.
He finished the 2018-19 regular season with career-best totals of 21 goals (tops among all AHL defensemen) and 50 points, along with a plus-13 rating in just 58 games for the Americans, who finished with the fourth-best record in the AHL. He tied for the overall league lead with nine game-winning tallies and ranked first among blueliners with 10 power-play goals (tied) and 200 shots on goal on his way to earning the Eddie Shore Award as the AHL’s outstanding defenseman.
Redmond, who broke a 46-year-old franchise record for goals by a defenseman in a single season, was also voted a First Team AHL All-Star that season following a Second Team selection in 2017-18. He remains one of only three defensemen in franchise history ever to receive the Eddie Shore Award, joining AHL Hall of Famer Steve Kraftcheck (1959) and Hockey Hall of Famer Al Arbour (1965).
The Traverse City, Mich. native totaled 70 goals and 157 assists for 227 points in 373 career AHL games with Rochester, St. John’s, San Antonio and Chicago, as well as nine goals and 29 assists in 133 NHL contests with Buffalo, Montreal, Colorado and Winnipeg.
Redmond, who successfully resumed his career following a potentially life-threatening laceration to his femoral artery in 2013, was drafted by the Atlanta Thrashers in 2008 and was acquired by Buffalo in a trade with Montreal on Oct. 4, 2017.
Over his 12-year playing career, Redmond combined for 83 goals and 194 assists for 277 points in 646 regular-season contests while also totaling 34 points (12+22) in 66 playoff games.
Redmond represented the United States at the 2015 World Championship in Prague, earning a bronze medal after notching one assist in five games.
Seamus Kotyk - Goaltending Development Coach
Seamus Kotyk enters his seventh season as the Goaltending Development Coach for the Buffalo Sabres organization in 2023-24.
In his role, Kotyk is responsible for overseeing the development of all the organization’s goaltenders, including Buffalo’s minor league affiliates with the AHL’s Rochester Americans and ECHL’s Jacksonville Icemen.
Kotyk has been instrumental in the development of some of the Sabres’ top goaltending prospects, including 2020 AHL All-Star and Amerks MVP Jonas Johansson, who spent his first full season in Rochester in 2019-20. Johansson, Buffalo’s third-round pick in 2014, finished the season ranked among the AHL’s top five goaltenders in goals-against average and save percentage while also making his long-awaited NHL debut with the Sabres. Johansson became the fourth different Amerks netminder in the last five years to make his NHL debut for Buffalo, joining fellow Swede Linus Ullmark, Adam Wilcox and Jason Kasdorf, the latter of whom played for current Amerks head coach Seth Appert at RPI.
Kotyk joined the Sabres following four seasons with the Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds of the Ontario Hockey League. He joined the organization in 2010 as a goaltending coach before being elevated to assistant coach the following year. He remained in that capacity until 2014 when he transitioned to the Sabres as a scout before assuming his current role.
A native of London, Ontario, Kotyk played four seasons in the OHL with the Ottawa 67’s, posting a 79-37-5 record with a 2.73 goals-against average and a .910 save percentage. He was a member of the 1999 Memorial Cup-winning squad and played for the 67’s in the 2001 Memorial Cup.
Originally a fifth-round pick (147th overall) of the Boston Bruins in the 1999 NHL Draft, Kotyk enjoyed an eight-year playing career that included stops in the AHL, UHL and ECHL before playing his final three seasons overseas. He boasted a 58-66-10 career record with a 3.10 goals-against average and a .904 save percentage during his time in North America, most of which was spent in the AHL with the Cleveland Barons, Milwaukee Admirals and Houston Aeros.
Koytk split the 2004-05 season with the Admirals and the Rockford IceHogs of the UHL. While with the Admirals, Kotyk scored an empty-net goal against the San Antonio Rampage on April 17, 2005, becoming the eighth goaltender in AHL history to score a goal.
Kotyk and his partner, June, reside in London, Ontario, with their 13-year-old son, Nayif, and dog, Stanley.
Andrew Stegehuis - Head Equipment Manager
Andrew Stegehuis enters his sixth season as the Head Equipment Manager for the Rochester Americans in 2023-24.
Stegehuis joined the Amerks after previously serving as the Grand Rapids Griffins (AHL) assistant equipment manager from 2012 until 2018, helping the Griffins claim both of their Calder Cup championships in 2012-13 and 2016-17. The Grandville, Mich., native began his tenure with Grand Rapids as a locker room attendant from 2004 to 2011.
Stegehuis joined the Griffins full-time after spending the 2011-12 season as the equipment manager for the USHL’s Chicago Steel.
Carl Hirner - Assistant Equipment Manager
Carl Hirner begins his seventh season with the Amerks and third as the team’s assistant equipment manager in 2023-24.
In his role, Hirner, who spent the first four years in the organization as a game-day equipment assistant, is responsible for assisting in the day-to-day care as well as maintenance, repair, transportation, cleaning, and storage of the team’s equipment needs.
Hirner’s additional experience includes one year at Locker Room Sports in Rochester. He specialized in outfitting local youth players and fulfilling all equipment related needs of the business operations.
A native of Middleport, NY, Hirner attended The College at Brockport, where he studied Sport Management.
Hockey Performance Department
Michael Dhesse - Head Athletic Trainer
Michael Dhesse enters his fifth season as Head Athletic Trainer of the Rochester Americans in 2023-24.
Dhesse joined the Amerks after spending five years as the assistant athletic trainer at the University of Alaska Anchorage (NCAA), where he was the primary athletic trainer for hockey with the Seawolves. He was also the Medical Coordinator for the Anchorage Mayor’s Marathon & Half Marathon, the largest marathon in the state of Alaska.
While in Alaska, he was active in the Alaska Athletic Trainers’ Association, serving as their public relations chairman and sitting on the Governmental Affairs Committee.
Dhesse, a Peru, Illinois native, earned his Bachelor of Science degree in athletic training at Northern Illinois University (NCAA). While with the Huskies, he was an athletic training student covering football for two and a half years, which included a Mid-American Conference Championship game and the Orange Bowl and Poinsettia Bowl. In addition to his athletic training duties, Dhesse conducted research for the creation and implementation of emergency action plans in the secondary school setting on a national level and was awarded first place at the Great Lakes Athletic Trainers’ Association meeting in 2014 and was presented at the National Athletic Trainers’ Association Symposium that same year.
In his final semester of school, Dhesse interned with the University of Washington’s football team, and prior to leaving NIU, was awarded the American Kinesiology Award.
Dhesse is a member of the National Athletic Trainers’ Association and Professional Hockey Athletic Trainers’ Society.
During the 2021-22 season, Dhesse was recalled to the Buffalo Sabres for a west coast trip as several staff members tested positive for COVID.
He currently resides in Rochester with his wife, Danielle, two dogs, Raisin and Annabelle, as well as their other various rescued animals.
Kent Weisbeck - Assistant Athletic Trainer
Kent Weisbeck enters his 39th season as an Athletic Trainer for the Rochester Americans. In the past 38 years, Weisbeck has worked more than 2,500 games, earned two Calder Cup rings (1987 and 1996) and has worked in the Calder Cup Finals on five other occasions.
On March 10, 2019, Weisbeck worked his remarkable 2,500th game with Amerks. Prior to the game against Binghamton, the organization honored him with a plaque and custom jersey commemorating his career milestone.
During the 2016 offseason, the longtime member of the Amerks organization was honored by the Professional Hockey Athletic Trainers Society/Society of Professional Hockey Equipment Managers (PHATS/SPHEM) with the Career Achievement Alumni Award in recognition of his dedication and excellence in his field. In August of 2016, Weisbeck was inducted into the Frontier Field Walk of Fame as a member of the Class of 2016. Since 1997, a special section at the center of Frontier Field's Walk of Fame has been designated to Rochester's sports legends. These individuals (fans, players, management and media spanning Rochester's sports history) are those who have made a monumental impact on the community through their achievements in the Rochester-area sports scene.
During the 2009-10 season, his 25th consecutive year of service to the organization, “Snacky” became the first-ever athletic trainer in the 66-year history of the franchise to be inducted into the Amerks Hall of Fame. He was honored as the 48th member of the prestigious club, joining former Amerks head coach Randy Cunneyworth and Jim Wiemer as part of the Class of 2010.
Weisbeck worked one day in the NHL with the Buffalo Sabres, but the rest of his hours, days and years have been in Rochester. On October 23, 2010, Weisbeck reached a professional milestone working in his 2,000th game. The team honored him on November 7, 2010 with a plaque and fitted him with the first Blue Jacket, an honor bestowed to Weisbeck by then team owner Curt Styres as a testament to his personal milestone.
Weisbeck has twice had the distinction of serving as a trainer at the AHL All-Star Classic. His first time on the bench came during the 2000 All-Star Classic hosted in Rochester at The Blue Cross Arena. He was also selected as head athletic trainer for the Western Conference All-Star team for the 2011 AHL All-Star Classic in Hershey. He was selected by the American Hockey League based upon his many years of excellence and dedicated service to the AHL and the City of Rochester.
The Buffalo, NY, native graduated from the University at Buffalo in 1977 with a Bachelor of Science degree in physical education with a minor in athletic training. After graduating from UB, he stayed at the university to work as an assistant athletic trainer from 1977-1985. In 1985, he made the jump to the AHL and the Amerks.
Kent and his wife, Colleen, reside in Rochester with their two sons: Cameron (30) and Hunter (14).
Kedryn Orrison Pilgrim - Assistant Athletic Trainer
Kedryn Orrison Pilgrim enters her third season as an Assistant Athletic Trainer with the Rochester Americans in 2023-24.
Orrison Pilgrim joined the Amerks following two years as an assistant athletic trainer at the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire (UWEC), where she worked primarily with the women's volleyball, men's ice hockey and softball programs.
Prior to UWEC, she served as the head athletic trainer with the Sioux City Musketeers of the United States Hockey League (USHL) for two seasons (2017-2019). She was also a graduate assistant athletic trainer at Minnesota State University – Mankato in 2016-17 and was an intern athletic trainer before that with UWEC during the 2015-16 season.
Orrison Pilgrim completed her education at North Central College in Illinois, earning a Bachelor of Arts in both Athletic Training and Psychology, as well as completing the College Scholars Honors Program. While at North Central College, she was a member of the women’s collegiate volleyball team for four years and a thrower for the women’s indoor and outdoor track and field teams for a year.
She went on to obtain her Master of Arts in Sport and Exercise Psychology from Minnesota State University – Mankato and is currently pursuing her Doctorate in Athletic Training (DAT) from Moravian University.
Orrison Pilgrim is a member of the National Athletic Trainers’ Association (NATA) and the Professional Hockey Athletic Trainers’ Society (PHATS). She maintains both the Certified Strength and Condition Specialist (CSCS) certification through the National Strength and Conditioning Association (NSCA) and the Sports Manual Therapy Certification (SMTC) through the Institute for Athlete Regeneration (IAR). In addition, she has specialized certifications in Graston Technique, Reflex Performance Reset (RPR) and cupping.
During the 2021-22 season, head athletic trainer Michael Dhesse was recalled to the Buffalo Sabres for a west coast trip as several staff members tested positive for COVID. Orrison Pilgrim assumed head training duties in Rochester for the Amerks games on January 27 and 28. She is the second woman in the American Hockey League to assume head athletic trainer duties throughout the course of a game.
Following the game on the 28, Buffalo continued its four-game swing on Sunday, Orrision Pilgrim had been called up to assist Dhesse behind the bench, making her just the third woman in NHL history to hold this position during a regular-season game according to the Professional Hockey Athletic Trainers Society and Society of Professional Hockey Equipment Managers.
She resides in Rochester with her husband, Jordan, and their dog, Oban.
Nick Craven - Strength and Conditioning Coach
Nick Craven enters his seventh season as the Head Strength and Conditioning Coach of the Rochester Americans in 2023-24.
Prior to joining the Amerks, Craven was a member of the Olympic Strength and Conditioning department at the University of Georgia. Craven has also completed strength and conditioning internships with New Mexico State University and Colorado State University.
After four years of collegiate hockey, Craven played professionally for two years with stops in Binghamton (AHL), Colorado (ECHL) and Fayetteville (SPHL).
Craven graduated from Wesleyan University in 2013 with a bachelor’s degree in Neuroscience. He received his M.S. in Kinesiology from the University of Georgia in 2017 and holds certifications through the National Strength and Conditioning Association (NSCA) and Collegiate Strength and Conditioning Coaches Association (CSCCa).
Christine Dziedzic - Sports Dietician
Amanda Edwards - Sports Psychologist
Dr. Geoffrey Bernas, M.D. - Head Team Physician, Orthopedics
Dr. Michael Freitas, M.D. - Team Physician, Primary Care Sports Medicine
Dr. Michael Rauh, M.D. - Team Physician, Orthopedics
Dr. Brandon Brownell, M.D. - Team Physician, Primary Care Sports Medicine
Dr. Brandon Brownell, M.D., is a Western New York native who graduated from Ross University School of Medicine and earned his Master of Science degree at Canisius College, specializing in Health and Human Performance.
He completed his residency with the University at Buffalo in the Department of Family Medicine before specializing in sports medicine. With his background in family and sports medicine, Dr. Brownell has a passion to return patients of all ages back to their active lifestyles. He has a focus in ultrasound guided musculoskeletal diagnosis and treatment.
He currently serves as the team physician for the UB Bulls Division I Men’s and Women’s basketball teams as well as the Rochester Americans, the American Hockey League affiliate of the Buffalo Sabres.
Dr. Donald Dudley, D.C. - Team Chiropractor
Dr. Robert Bronstein, M.D. - Medical Consultant, Orthopedics
Dr. Jordan Antetomaso, DMD - Team Dentist
Dr. Matthew Wolfe, DMD. - Team Dentist