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Lindy Ruff Named Next Sabres Head Coach

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Lindy Ruff Buffalo Sabres head coach

The Buffalo Sabres named Lindy Ruff their next head coach, the team has announced. The news comes shortly after general manager Kevyn Adams fired Don Granato last week and announced he was seeking an experienced head coach. Ruff brings experience not only as an NHL head coach but also as a member of the Sabres organization. His 15 seasons coaching in Buffalo followed a 10-year playing career as a member of the Sabres.

Must Read: Sabres Looking for NHL Experience in Next Coach

Lindy Ruff is also one of the most successful regular-season coaches in NHL history. He sits fifth all-time with 864 wins and 1774 games coached. After coaching in Buffalo, he spent four seasons coaching the Dallas Stars averaging 93 standings points a season. After a few years as an assistant, Ruff took a rebuilding New Jersey Devils team to a 112-point season in 2022-2023.

Analysis

Whether you call it nostalgic, a retread, or an experience, Ruff’s hiring will convey a wide array of emotions. He’s the winningest coach in team history. He took the 1998-1999 Sabres squad to Game Six of the Stanley Cup Final. He has two other Conference Finals appearances with the team.

He’s one of the most respected figures in Buffalo sports history, but at 65 years old the question looms if he still has the fire to turn an underachieving team around.

There are also questions about his overall success. In his 23 seasons as a head coach, his teams have qualified for the postseason under 50% of the time (11). The playoff success hasn’t been there either, with only five seasons making it past the second round. This includes zero Stanley Cups, one Final appearance, and four Conference Finals appearances.

Ruff will bring to Buffalo an understanding of the playoff drought and the hockey city that Buffalo can be. As a resident of the area, he’s in touch with the pulse of Western New York. He’s a Buffalo Bills fan and has seen the NFL team turn their playoff fortunes completely around. If he can do the same in Buffalo, he will only add to his legacy.