BUFFALO, NY (WKBW/NIAGARA) - Longtime National Hockey League blueliner Jay McKee has agreed to join the Niagara men's hockey coaching staff as the Volunteer Assistant Coach, as announced by the team on Thursday morning. McKee joins the Purple Eagles while still pursuing an NHL contract.
"I'm excited about Jay helping us for as long as he can," Burkholder said. "He is still talking with various teams about continuing his career, but having him help our young defensive group is a real asset."
McKee spent nine of his 13 years in the NHL with the Buffalo Sabres, before playing for three years with the St. Louis Blues and the 2009-10 season with the Pittsburgh Penguins. The unrestricted free agent has played in 802 career games, while scoring 21 goals, 104 assists and 125 points. The Kingston, Ont. native has played in 60 NHL playoff games, including the 1999 Stanley Cup Finals with the Sabres.
"For me, while still holding out hopes of landing an NHL position this season, it is an honor and a privilege to be part of an organization and program as well respected as Niagara University and Niagara Purple Eagles hockey," McKee said. "The current room of players is full of solid character, great work ethic and very exciting to watch. This team, combined with a dedicated and energetic coaching staff, can do very special things this year. I look forward to bringing what I was taught and learned, while playing with and against some of the NHL's greatest players for 13 years and passing those lessons along to Niagara's players."
With McKee's arrival, Jeff Weber will now move into the position of Director of Hockey Operations.