After a record-setting season by his team on the ice, Randy Cunneyworth will set a record behind the bench this year. In agreeing to terms on a one-year contract, the path has been paved for Cunneyworth to surpass John Van Boxmeer for the longest uninterrupted term as coach of the Rochester Americans. While Cunneyworth admits he has NHL aspirations, he hasn't mapped out a timetable. "I'm not in a huge rush to get to the NHL, but I make no bones about it, I do want to coach there," Cunneyworth said. "Year after year we have had a successful season and we take a lot of pride in getting those players to that next level."
Cunneyworth and Houda will be grooming players to two NHL cities this season. The Sabres have brought in the Florida Panthers to share the affiliation in Rochester. That means eight to 10 Panthers prospects will be here and Cunneyworth must try to keep Regier and Florida GM Mike Keenan happy. The NHL teams will have certain desires for their draft picks, but Amerks general manager Jody Gage said Cunneyworth must have the final say when it comes to line combinations and power-play units. "There will always be input taken but in the end it's what's best for the group in the locker room, the Rochester Americans, and for it to work it has to be Cunney's decision," Gage said.