Buffalo Sabres Announce Head Coach Lindy Ruff Has Been Fired
In case you’ve been off the grid lately or live under a rock, the Buffalo Sabres announced the firing of head coach Lindy Ruff on Wednesday Feb. 20. While the move shouldn’t come as a surprise to the hockey world after the slow start the Sabres have had this season, it is still sad nonetheless.
While there are many reasons as to why he was fired, the main one seems to be that his message just wasn’t getting through to the players anymore. Buffalo has gone 6-10-1 in the first 17 games of the season, which is a disappointing start to a dedicated hockey town.
The team also did not make the playoffs last season, just missing out and finishing 9th in the Eastern Conference.
Ruff was the longest-serving head coach in the NHL after being with the Sabres for 15 seasons, not including the ongoing 2013 season. In that time, he led the team to the playoffs eight times and to the Stanley Cup finals once.
He won the Jack Adams Award for coach of the year in 2005-2006, and nominated again the following year, placing second. He is only the 16th coach in NHL history to win more than 500 games, and just the second to win 500 games with the same team.
Ruff also played 691 games in the NHL before becoming a coach. He was drafted 32nd overall by the Sabres in the 1979 NHL Entry Draft and spent most of his playing career there. He gained a reputation of being a tough and hard working player on the ice and accumulated a total of 105 goals and 195 assists.
According to new updates, Ron Rolston of the AHL’s Rochester Americans has been chosen to fill the coaching shoes for the rest of the season, with Buffalo GM Darcy Regier saying that if things go well, he may stay for future seasons.
Even if you aren’t a Buffalo Sabres fan, we think everyone can respect a man with a reputation like Ruff’s; a man who was beloved by fans, especially for his blunt comments to the media.
It is an upsetting conclusion to Ruff’s coaching career in Buffalo, but this is definitely not the end for such a great and successful coach. Keep your eyes open, we’re sure he’ll be back coaching in no time!
In absolute shock over today’s tragic event and want to talk about it? Throw me a tweet at @MandyVKovacs!
(Photo Credit: Screen Cap.)