Local Kelowna Rockets head coach Dan Lambert has resigned from the team in order to take on an assistant coach position with the NHL’s Buffalo Sabres.
President/GM Bruce Hamilton made the announcement on Monday, wishing the head coach well as he transitions into his new position with the Sabres.
“This was a decision that was very difficult to make,” said Lambert. “I’d like to thank Bruce Hamilton and the Hamilton family and Lorne Frey for giving me an opportunity six years ago to become part of the Rocket family. I would like to thank Ryan Huska, Kim Dillabaugh, Kim Gellert and Ryan Cuthbert for the awesome working environment that was created in the coach’s room. And to all the staff for my first year as a head coach. What a run we had.”
Lambert was hired as the Rockets’ head coach in June 2014 after Ryan Huska accepted a position with the Calgary Flames. However, Lambert began his career with the Rockets back in 2009, shortly after he had closed out a 19-year professional career in North America and Europe.
As head coach, Lambert led the Rockets to a 53-13-6 record and a Western Conference title. Underneath the guidance of Lambert, the Rockets followed up on their regular-season success with a 16-3 record in the WHL playoffs and an Ed Chynoweth Cup.
“We wish Dan well in the future,” said Hamilton. “This is two years in a row we have lost our head coach so it’s tough. But we are about developing our people and we are happy to see Dan move on to the next level.”
Lambert is currently in Buffalo attending the Sabres development camp. He will join Terry Murray and Dave Barr as the third assistant coach on head coach Dan Bylsma’s staff.
Dan Lambert, head coach for the Kelowna Rockets. (Photo Credit: Marissa Baecker via Kelowna Rockets Facebook.)