The Buffalo Sabres fired Lindy Ruff Wednesday, ending his tenure with the team that started in 1997. The move comes just three days after Ruff, a native of Warburg, Alta., celebrated his 53rd birthday.
“I think we were making some strides, but in the end, for every two steps forward we would take one step back,” Sabres general manager Darcy Regier said. “Unfortunately, this is the time of year when coaching is probably the thing that is probably evaluated the most. (Ruff) didn’t lose the team in any way with respect to communication. In fact, the communication has never been better.
“Unfortunately, it didn’t translate to the ice. For whatever reason, we couldn’t get any traction, especially defensively. It was really hard to get a grip on it.”
Ron Rolston, 45, has been named interim head coach and will finish the season behind the Buffalo bench. Rolston was in his second season as coach of the Sabres’ American Hockey League affiliate, the Rochester Americans, and had a record of 27-18-2-1..
The Sabres are just 6-10-1 this season and sit last in the Northeast Division.
Ruff owns a career coaching record of 562-452-84 (plus 78 ties). He led the Sabres to the Stanley Cup final in 1999 and won the Jack Adams Award as NHL coach of the year in 2005-06.