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Cassidy, Taylor ready to begin new era with Amerks

It was a move that just seemed to make a lot of sense.

With Ron Rolston earning the head coaching job in Buffalo, his former assistant was given the same title in Rochester. Chadd Cassidy officially had the interim tag removed from his name, becoming the Amerks head coach as they prepare for the upcoming season.

"It feels great," Cassidy said. "This is what you coach for, to get these opportunities. Really excited about the group that we have here and the things that we can do going forward."

The goal moving forward will be to build on the success of the last two seasons. Rochester made the Calder Cup Playoffs each year, but were swept each time.

"I still feel like there's a lot of unfinished business from last year. We played well enough to do a little bit better in the playoffs, but obviously we were out in three games. But there's a lot of excitement and anticipation, and you just kind of want to get started now."

Signing on as an assistant is Chris Taylor. He spent parts of nine years as a player with the Amerks, most recently in 2007. So he knows what it means to slip on the sweater.

"The tradition here and what the fans believe is amazing," Taylor said. "I think that's why guys like Zigomanis and Ellis wanted to play here. They had a chance to go to any other team and they came here, so that shows you how much being a Rochester American means.

Taylor also knows what it means to grind it out. Over the course of a 19 year professional career, he was called up to the NHL in eight different seasons.

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Washington Times