Coach Lindy Ruff has been fired after 16-years (over 1,150 games) with the Buffalo Sabres.
The Sabres will move on with Ron Rolston, the head coach of the Rochester Americans in the AHL, as the interim coach. It will be the first time that the Sabres will be led by someone besides Ruff since 1997.
Sabres owner Terry Pegula said:
“The hockey world knows how I and the entire Buffalo Sabres organization feel about Lindy Ruff not only as a coach but also as a person. His long tenure with the Sabres has ended. His qualities have made this decision very difficult. I personally want Lindy to know that he can consider me a friend always.”
According to Deadspin, Ruff was the longest tenured coach in the NHL. Behind Gregg Popovich of the San Antonio Spurs, he was the longest tenured coach in professional sports in the United States. Ruff brought the Sabres to the conference finals four times and in 1999 the team played in the Stanley Cup finals. Ruff was never able to win the Cup, however, and it looks like he won’t get another chance.
No one really expected the Sabres to fire their coach after 16 years. The team is off to a dismal start but when GM Darcy Regier was asked who was goign to pay for the Sabres 3-6-1 start he said that “it won’t be the coach.” A NHL reporter also quoted the Sabres saying that the team’s problem was a lack of talent.
Do you think that Lindy Ruff was the problem in Buffalo? Will the Sabres turn their season around?
Darcy Regier announced this afternoon that Lindy Ruff has been relieved of his duties as head coach of the Buffalo Sabres. More to follow.
— Buffalo Sabres (@BuffaloSabres) February 20, 2013