After a 6-10-1 start to the season, the Sabres management felt a change needed to be made. The firing comes a day after a 2-1 loss to the Winnipeg Jets that included numerous boos from the home crowd in Buffalo. Ruff had been the Sabres coach since Jul. 21, 1997.
During his tenure as the Sabres coach, Ruff compiled a 571-432-78-84 record over 1165 games, making him the winningest coach in Sabres history and leading the Sabres to eight playoff appearances in his fourteen full seasons with the team. He also led the team to four Eastern Conference Finals appearances (1998, 1999, 2006, and 2007) and a trip to the Stanley Cup Finals in 1999, where they lost to the Dallas Stars in six games. In 2006, Lindy Ruff won the Jack Adams Award as the NHL's Coach of the Year for the 2005-2006 season.
Rochester Americans coach Ron Rolston has been named Interim Head Coach through the remainder of this season. Ron, the older brother of veteran NHL forward Brian Rolston, has been the Amerks head coach since 2011. He led the Amerks to a 36-26-10-4 record last season before a first round exit in the AHL playoffs. The Amerks are 27-18-2-1 so far this season under Rolston.
Rolston had previously been the coach of the USA Hockey's National Team Development Program from 2004-2011. Prior to that, he had served as Assistant Coach for Boston College from 2002-2004, Harvard University from 1999-2002, Clarkson University from 1996-1999, and Lake Superior State University from 1991-1995.
As an assistant coach for Lake Superior State, He won NCAA Championships in 1992 and 1994. During his time as Head Coach of the USA Hockey's National Team Development Program, he helped lead the USA Under-18 team to three gold medals and one silver medal at the IIHF U-18 World Championships.
The Buffalo Sabres will mark Ron Rolston’s first stop as a coach at the NHL level, and he will travel with the team to Toronto where they will face the Maple Leafs on Thursday, Feb. 21st. Where Lindy Ruff ends up next and how long he remains unemployed remains to be seen.