Sabres bring back Lindy Ruff, team’s most successful coach


The Buffalo Sabres have rehired Lindy Ruff, the final head coach to guide the franchise to the NHL playoffs again in 2011.

Ruff, 64, was fired by the New Jersey Devils after 61 video games this season. He replaces Don Granato, whom the Sabres fired after three seasons.

Ruff coached the Sabres for 15 seasons from 1997 to 2013. He ranks fifth all-time and second amongst energetic coaches with 864 profession regular-season wins for the Sabres, Dallas Stars, and Devils. His 935 mixed wins within the common season and playoffs are tied for fourth in league historical past.

“As I went by way of the hiring course of, it shortly grew to become clear Lindy was the particular person for the job. He has expertise, a confirmed observe report, familiarity with younger gamers, and a lot extra,” mentioned Sabres normal supervisor Kevyn Adams.

Adams labored as an assistant coach beneath Ruff in 2011-12 and through the 2012-13 season, when Ruff was changed by Ron Rolston.

The Sabres have gone by way of six totally different coaches since Ruff was fired.

“I need to be clear although that this rent was not made with nostalgia in thoughts. Lindy is the precise particular person for the job now, and any historical past with our group and neighborhood is solely an added bonus. I imagine wholeheartedly that Lindy may also help our crew attain their targets and am excited to get to work with him,” mentioned Adams.

Ruff led the Sabres to the playoffs eight instances throughout his tenure in Buffalo, together with the Japanese Convention closing in his first two seasons and the Stanley Cup Ultimate in 1999.

He is the winningest coach in Sabres historical past, having set franchise information in regular-season video games coached (1,165), regular-season wins (571), playoff video games coached (101), and playoff wins (57) throughout his first stint with the group from 1997-98 to 2012-13.

Ruff gained the Jack Adams Award because the NHL’s coach of the 12 months in 2005-06. He was a finalist for the award three different instances.

The Sabres have gone 13 seasons and not using a playoff look since Ruff final took them there in 2010-11, which is the longest present drought within the NHL. That included a disappointing 2023-24 marketing campaign during which Buffalo appeared poised to succeed in a brand new degree of success with a roster of stable younger gamers however completed with a decrease factors share (.512) than they did within the earlier season (.555).

Ruff was credited with serving to a younger crew in New Jersey take a leap to the postseason in 2022-23 with a 49-point enchancment 12 months over 12 months. However the Devils regressed by 48 factors this season, resulting in his dismissal.

“This can be a crew able to take the subsequent step,” mentioned Ruff on the Sabres. “I’m each humbled and honored to be trusted to assist this crew win now. It’s not a job that I take frivolously. It’s my objective to make sure that gamers imagine in one another, play for one another and love being a Buffalo Sabre. There isn’t a doubt that all of us have to embrace the problem forward of us. The work begins at the moment, and I couldn’t be extra excited.”

Ruff will likely be formally launched in a information convention on Tuesday.


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