Darcy Regier, General Manager of the Bufalo Sabres, in a live press conference on WGRZ Channel 2 on the Wednesday, Feb. 20 5:00 p.m. broadcast had this to say about Lindy Ruff’s firing and the future of the Buffalo Sabres organization.
Coach Ron Ralston from Rochester Americans will serve as the interim coach of the Sabres for the rest of the season. After watching Ralston’s style of coaching against Hamilton on Tuesday night, Regier said that the Sabres front office was confident in making the decision to place Ralston in the position as interim coach. Assuming things go well, Ralston will have to the opportunity to become the Sabres new coach.
Recent conversations between Regier and Ruff took place about why progress was not being made within the Sabres organization. Darcy Regier stated that it was a tough conversation, and it was difficult to fire Ruff as the coach of the Buffalo Sabres.
Regier was not prepared to have Lindy Ruff behind the bench going into the next came against Toronto after the Sabres loss to Winnipeg on Tuesday night. The Buffalo Sabres lost two of their three games last weekend.
Darcy Regier said that ultimately the decision to fire Ruff was made by him, not by Sabres owner Terry Pegula, though Pegula and Regier were in constant contact regarding the decision to fire Lindy Ruff. Regier says there are a lot of “unknowns” within the Buffalo Sabres organization at this time.
Darcy Regier said that lack of communication between Ruff and the players was never a problem off the ice; however the communication off the ice did not translate well onto the ice.
Lindy Ruff was given the opportunity to address the players before the team left for Toronto today. Ruff went to the bus, talked to the players, shook hands and said goodbye.
Lindy Ruff, a former defenseman and forward for the Buffalo Sabres, gained a reputation as a player for his toughness, character and hard work on the ice. Ruff played for 10 years in Buffalo, serving as captain of the Sabres for nearly three years. Ruff was traded to the New York Rangers at the 1989 NHL trade deadline in exchange for a draft pick.
Lindy Ruff was hired as coach of the Buffalo Sabres in July 1997 after the organization fired Ted Nolan. Ruff took the Buffalo Sabres to the Stanley Cup Finals against the Dallas Star, taking the playoff to game six. The Sabres lost in triple overtime when a Dallas Stars player’s skate was clearly in the crease when the winning goal was scored, handing the Stanley Cup to the Dallas Stars.