Niagara volunteer coach McKee jumps to AHL’s Americans

Niagara volunteer assistant coach Jay McKee has been named an assistant coach with the Rochester Americans of the American Hockey League.

After 14 years in the NHL with Buffalo, St. Louis and Pittsburgh, McKee spent the 2010-11 season behind the Niagara bench.

“Words can’t express how thankful I am to (NU head coach) Dave Burkholder, (Niagara AD) Ed McLaughlin and Niagara University for the wonderful privilege and opportunity they gave me in allowing me to assist in coaching the Niagara men’s hockey team last season,” McKee said in a statement. “The program has surrounded itself with a lot of first class personalities, attitude and work ethic, from staff and management to each player in the dressing room. I was very fortunate to learn a lot from the current coaching staff and will be forever grateful using those lessons as I further my coaching career.

“I’m very proud to have been Purple Eagle and without question would be very proud of my daughters if they chose the family that is Niagara University as their choice to achieve their dreams in academics and athletics.”

“I’m very excited for Jay with his new opportunity within the Sabres organization,” Burkholder added. “He was a great asset to our program last season. Everyone tied to the Niagara hockey program was excited to have him back on staff this season, but when this opportunity came about, it was something Jay needed to do. He will make a terrific coach and it won’t be long before he’s on an NHL bench.”