After 16 years leading the team, Ruff, 53, has been fired and Ron Rolston, coach of the Rochester Americans, Buffalo’s American Hockey League affiliate will act as interim coach of the team for the rest of the season. Rolston’s term begins with the Buffalo Sabres’ game against Toronto on Feb. 21, according general manager Darcy Regier.
Rolston’s interim job could turn full-time depending on how things go with the next couple of games. Regier said that Rolston’s interim coaching this season “will provide us and him the opportunity to get to know each other, and if things go well, he'll have the opportunity to become the head coach.”
The New Times reports that Ruff’s firing follows a loss to the Winnipeg Jets on Tuesday that left the Sabres with a 6-10-1 mark and grabbing the bottom of the Northeast Division with only 13 points. Ruff has been coaching the Sabres since 1997 and was reportedly the longest-tenured coach in the league.
“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,” Sabres owner Terry Pegula said in a statement. “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.”
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