Bill Hajt’s son Chris new Sabres as­sis­tant

The Buffalo News - - SPORTS -

The Buf­falo Sabres have hired Chris Hajt as an as­sis­tant coach, the team an­nounced Mon­day af­ter­noon.

Hajt comes from the Los An­ge­les Kings’ AHL af­fil­i­ate, the On­tario (Calif.) Reign, where he served as an as­sis­tant coach the last three sea­sons. When the Kings’ AHL af­fil­i­ate was the Manch­ester Monar­chs, Hajt helped them to a Calder Cup ti­tle in the 2014-15 sea­son. The Reign made the play­offs each of the last two sea­sons and won a di­vi­sion ti­tle in 2015-16.

“It’s been a process with that be­cause we’re try­ing to do a thor­ough search for re­ally good can­di­dates and there’s a lot of re­ally good coaches out there,” Sabres head coach Phil Hous­ley said last Tues­day of his coach­ing search. “But you wanna just make sure you do the right thing and look at ev­ery­body. We still have the coach that we’re look­ing at and try­ing to fill that po­si­tion.”

Less than two weeks ago the Sabres hired an­other as­sis­tant from the Los An­ge­les or­ga­ni­za­tion, for­mer Kings as­sis­tant Davis Payne, to fill an as­sis­tant coach­ing void in Buf­falo. Payne will be the as­so­ci­ate head coach.

Hajt is the son of for­mer Sabre Bill Hajt, who played in Buf­falo from 1973-87, scor­ing 42 goals and as­sist­ing on 202 in 854 games played. The de­fense­man racked up 433 penalty min­utes over those 14 sea­sons.

Chris Hajt played the ma­jor­ity of his pro­fes­sional ca­reer in the AHL, ap­pear­ing in 477 games while ac­cu­mu­lat­ing 91 points (20 goals and 71 as­sists). He saw ac­tion in six NHL games with the Ed­mon­ton Oil­ers and Wash­ing­ton Cap­i­tals, play­ing one game for the Oil­ers in the 2000-01 sea­son and five for the Cap­i­tals in 2003-04.

Hajt pre­vi­ously coached the OHL’s Guelph Storm from 2008-14. The Storm made the play­offs each of those six sea­sons and won the OHL cham­pi­onship in 2014.

The Sabres also an­nounced that as­sis­tant coach Tom Ward will re­turn next sea­son.

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