Amerks introduces new head coach Michael Leone

Rochester Americans general manager Jason Karmanos held an introductory press conference Monday for the organization’s 34th head coach, Michael Leone.

Leone was announced as the team’s new coach last Thursday.

Karmanos says the search began with a candidate pool of 100, before being narrowed down to 25, and then down to a final five. He says he’s excited and thinks Leone is the “good guy.” Karmanos says what stood out to him was Leone’s ability to build relationships and that there is a chain of people he has worked with who are well respected in the hockey community.

“Talking to him, you hear a person who listens very well and learns from the people around him,” Karmanos said. “You could say it’s a chance to cross paths, but I don’t think it’s just that. I think a person like Leo ends up putting himself in these positions by the way he impacts the people he previously worked with.”

Previously, Leone was the head coach and general manager of the Green Bay Gamblers, a junior ice hockey team.

Leone says he wants to learn the players outside of hockey before getting straight into the game plan.

“It’s really important for the modern athlete to have that,” Leone said. “That’s always been my approach, whether I was at the national program or even before that, we kind of instilled in our staff in Green Bay that it would be a relationship-based approach to our development model. Obviously we had success and we look forward to continuing that in Rochester.”

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