The Buffalo Beauts have fired co-coaches Ric Seiling and Craig Muni and replaced them with former Sabres center Cody McCormick on an interim basis.
Seiling and Muni, also former Sabres, had each been coaching the team since the earliest days of the franchise. Seiling, who took over the reins in 2015-16 as coach and general manager and Muni, who came on board in 2016, led the Beauts to their first Isobel Cup championship in 2017.
Past performance, however, didn’t translate to this season, as the Beauts entered Saturday’s game against the Connecticut Whale in third place in the NWHL with six points in six games played.
“I want to thank Ric and Craig for what they have done,” General Manager Nik Fattey, who also named himself as assistant coach, said. “They have been a big part of the Beauts for all the years. I wish them the best.
“It was my decision. It was a hockey decision that we made. The season in front of us is big and important,so we made the decision to move forward… We have world-class players. We’re 3-3 and that’s not where we need to be. They know the expectations that are there.They are there for me, they are there for players and the coaches so maybe trying something new, having Cody’s freshness and ideas will be really great.”
McCormick, 35, has some experience with the Beauts, having worked at the HarborCenter’s Academy of Hockey while helping to develop various players’ skill sets. That level of familiarity and his knowledge of the Beauts’ roster should bode well for him, according to Fattey.
“They all know him and he knows them,” Fattey said. “It’s not like a voice they haven’t heard before. There’s a lot of respect for him. There’s a lot of excitement.
“Cody is a motivator. He has a good rapport with the players. He’s really positive and has a lot of energy coming out of not playing that long ago. He’s up to date on all the systems. Our girls are hungry for that. They want the current systems and want to play a system that’s modern and helps them prepare for whatever they are doing, whether that’s winning a championship with us or playing with their own national teams.”
When asked if McCormick was a candidate to become the full-time head coach, Fattey wanted to keep the focus on the current season in progress and not on the future.
“We’re going through the process to identify the next full-time spot,” Fattey said. “Cody is here and we’re here to win a championship. Any possibility is possible. We’re focused on winning games and winning the championship this year.”