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Video: Darcy Regier announces Lindy Ruff's firing

Sabres General Manager Darcy Regier announces Lindy Ruff's firing.

One of Ruff's closest friends sensed time was up for the Sabres' former coach

By John Vogl

Larry Playfair has known Lindy Ruff since 1979. They were teammates in Buffalo for seven seasons, and they've worked together through the years as key members of the Sabres' alumni association.

After the Sabres lost to Winnipeg on Tuesday night in a boo-filled, uninspired performance, Playfair sensed his time with Ruff in the organization was nearing its end.

Continue reading "One of Ruff's closest friends sensed time was up for the Sabres' former coach" »

Video: The News' hockey reporters discuss the firing of Lindy Ruff

The News' hockey reporters discuss the firing of Lindy Ruff and the naming of Ron Rolston as interim coach.

NHL Network on Ruff's firing

Here's how the NHL Network reviewed the firing of Lindy Ruff:

Buffalo News audio exclusive: Ryan Miller reflects on firing, tenure of Sabres coach Lindy Ruff

By John Vogl

Ryan Miller was on the team bus, ready to depart for Toronto this afternoon when Lindy Ruff came aboard and told the Sabres players he'd been fired as coach.

"We’re not playing great hockey, and there’s a lot of pressure on the organization I can imagine right now," Miller said during a phone call with The Buffalo News. "Ownership or management need to do something. It’s unfortunate. I feel like it’s a situation we put the coach in. We weren’t executing. If we were executing but still losing, I think that’s one thing. But we’re not playing the game the right way.

Continue reading "Buffalo News audio exclusive: Ryan Miller reflects on firing, tenure of Sabres coach Lindy Ruff" »

Statement from Terry Pegula

By Mike Harrington

Here is Terry Pegula's statement on the firing of LIndy Ruff, just released by the Sabres' PR department:

"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. 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."

Sabres name Rolston interim head coach

Rolston
Ron Rolston has been named interim head coach of the Sabres. (Mark Mulville/Buffalo News file photo)


By Mike Harrington

Darcy Regier has just named Ron Rolston interim coach of the Sabres for the rest of the season.

Regier said he will join Rolston in heading to Toronto tonight.

"This is professional sports. He understood it," Regier said of Ruff. "He was extremely professional. It was a tough day."

"For whatever reason, we couldn't get any traction, especially defensively. ... It was really hard to get a grip on it."

Regier said Ruff came to the bus at 3 p.m. at the Northtown Center in Amherst before the team left for Toronto.

"I believe they'll respond," said Regier, who added Kevin Porter has been called up from Rochester.

Darcy on the team: "When I see the players, I'm disappointed for them too. We should all be disappointed. As far as anger, we have too much work to do. We can't go there."

Live coverage: News conference about Sabres' firing of Ruff

With Ruff fired, who's out there for Sabres to hire as coach?

By John Vogl

The Sabres haven't had to search for a coach since the summer of 1997. Needless to say, the candidates have changed since then.

So who's out there now that the Sabres have fired Lindy Ruff?

Continue reading "With Ruff fired, who's out there for Sabres to hire as coach?" »

BULLETIN: RUFF FIRED AS COACH

By Mike Harrington

Lindy Ruff is out as coach of the Buffalo Sabres.

In a stunning end to the 16-year reign of the NHL's longest-tenured head coach, general manger Darcy Regier announced via the team's Twitter account that Ruff has been relieved of his duties shortly after 3 p.m. today.

There is no immediate word on a replacement for Ruff.

UPDATE: Regier is slated to meet the media at 5 p.m.

John Vogl has a list of possible candidates to replace Ruff at this post.

The Sabres' next game is Thursday night in Toronto. They return home to host the New York Islanders on Saturday night.

The Sabres are 6-10-1 and mired in 13th place in the Eastern Conference. They are last in the Northeast Division and 27th overall in the NHL. Ruff's final game was Tuesday's dreary 2-1 loss to the Winnipeg Jets, a loss that saw First Niagara Center fans loudly boo the team for long stretches.

Continue reading "BULLETIN: RUFF FIRED AS COACH" »

Sabres announce Ruff 'relieved of duties'

The Buffalo Sabres just tweeted:

"Darcy Regier announced this afternoon that Lindy Ruff has been relieved of his duties as head coach of the Buffalo Sabres. More to follow."

Ruff captains obvious on the SS Sabre: 'It isn't working the way we're going'

By Mike Harrington

The Sabres made one move by the the time their 90-minute practice ended today, putting forward Cody McCormick on waivers. But stay tuned. Lindy Ruff made it pretty clear that's not all-systems-go on the SS Sabre for long.

"If we're going to be like this, it isn't working the way we're going," Ruff said of his team, which is last in the Northeast Division, 13th in the Eastern Conference and 27th in the NHL overall standing. "I think the indication today is we're going to have to try some things and that's what we're talking about."

Ruff made an exit-stage right from his meeting with reporters at that point, but had answered questions for about four minutes. So what does it mean?

A simple move could be to bring up Kevin Porter from Rochester for Thursday's game in Toronto. But there's plenty of indication GM Darcy Regier is heating up trade talks, given the dire straits his team is in.

As for McCormick, he's got another year left on his deal at $1 million and has no points in eight games this year. He gave the Sabres eight goals, 20 points and 142 penalty minutes two years ago after being acquired from Colorado to replace Andrew Peters but hasn't approached those totals since as he's battled concussions and a severe finger problem that kept him out of the first eight games this season.

McCormick apparently became expendable now that the Sabres have John Scott. The fourth line in general is providing absolutely nothing offensively. That's certainly not their job but other teams do get some push from that trio and the Sabres have not.

"Part of it with John there, we're crowded at that position," Ruff said. "And with Pat Kaleta on the right side, I tried to put Cody at center. We've got too much of almost the same thing."

Ruff said Christian Ehrhoff and Tyler Ennis both sat out today for maintenance and should play tomorrow in Toronto. Click below to hear Ruff's meeting with reporters today (2:20 update: The Sabres confirm Terry Pegula will do no interviews today).


Lindy Ruff

Ennis, Ehrhoff absent (UPDATE: McCormick waived)

By Mike Harrington

The Sabres have just taken the ice for practice in First Niagara Center. There is no sign of center Tyler Ennis and defenseman Christian Ehrhoff. Ehrhoff, remember, took a puck high in the neck area during Sunday's game against Pittsburgh and might be taking the day off. We'll have to wait for Lindy Ruff's post-practice update.

Based on line colors, the Sabres are skating this way:

Vanek-Hodgson-Pominville
Foligno-Grigorenko-Stafford
Ott-Hecht-Gerbe
Scott-McCormick-Kaleta

It's certainly time for Grigorenko to play tomorrow night in Toronto, and on a scoring line. We'll see how it goes.

The defense pairs are Myers-Regehr, Sekera-Sulzer, Leopold-Weber-Brennan

12:10 update: TSN's Bob McKenzie has tweeted that Cody McCormick has been put on waivers. McCormick is still on the ice at practice.

 

It's time for Terry to talk -- today

Terry
The fans need to hear from Terry Pegula. (AP Photo)


By Mike Harrington

(2:20 p.m  update Wednesday: The Sabres confirm Terry Pegula will do no interviews today).

I spoke to the the Sabres public relations department yesterday afternoon, following protocol by requesting an interview with owner Terry Pegula. The thinking was that Friday is the second anniversary of his opening press conference** and it might be nice to get his thoughts about where the organization stands on all fronts, especially in the wake of the all-systems-go the HarborCenter project got Tuesday afternoon combnied with the struggles on the ice. 

(**You remember that presser, right? "Starting today, the Buffalo Sabres' reason for existence will be to win a Stanley Cup" is the most-remembered line. But it also included "Lindy ain't goin' nowhere" and "To whom much is given, much is required.")

I was reminded, correctly, that Pegula has taken a step back from most interviews and that team president Ted Black is doing the bulk of the talking. Black, to his credit, is taking all the bullets every week on WGR Radio and did so again last week during an 18-minute interview at Buffalonews.com.

In the wake of last night's fiasco against Winnipeg, my interview request is foolish. This is no time for any big picture reflection. The franchise is in complete crisis and Pegula doesn't need to do any perfunctory 10-minute phone interview with me.

He needs to stand in front of me, WGR Radio, the Olean Times Herald, every televsion camera in town and every other outlet that comes in from time to time in Western New York and Southern Ontario and explain what in the world is going on here.

Continue reading "It's time for Terry to talk -- today" »

Video: Postgame reaction after Sabres 2-1 loss to Jets

Sabres had their worst performance to date Tuesday as they played without passion or effort.

Postgame audio: Lots of grumpiness after head-scratching grounding by Jets

By Mike Harrington

The dressing room door was zipped shut for nearly 20 minutes after Tuesday's 2-1 loss to Winnipeg.  On one hand, I would have liked to have been a fly on the wall in that room. On the other hand, I've heard it all before already. And we heard some more after this one. 

Lack of effort (how is that possible again?). Lack of execution. Playing tight. It's all hard to believe, especially when you see how little Terry Pegula's $65 million payroll is buying him.

Lindy Ruff said he was embarrassed and added, "we need to take a hard look at everything". Ya think? 

Hard to believe it's gotten to this point. Tied with Columbus for most regulation losses in the NHL (10). Now standing 13th in the East -- seven points behind every team in the Northeast Division -- and 27th in the NHL if Los Angeles got a point late Tuesday night in Edmonton.

Click the files below to go around the locker room after the inexplicable defeat:


Jason Pominville


Robyn Regehr


Ryan Miller


Lindy Ruff

Vote for your three stars

Live from First Niagara Center: Jets at Sabres

Charlie Sheen and Sabres' Ehrhoff clear the air

By John Vogl

As we wrote about Monday on Sabres Edge, Charlie Sheen wasn't thrilled when Christian Ehrhoff screened the actor's pal, Ryan Miller, on the losing goal against Pittsburgh.

It appears they've cleared the air today. Take a look at the sequence on Twitter:

On the air: The Peg, XM Radio and NHL Network

By Mike Harrington

I've done a lot of Sabres yakking in the last day and a half or so. Collected some audio and video here heading into tonight's game.

I was on with my good friends at the Illegal Curve Radio Show on TSN 1290 in Winnipeg and the podcast of that hour show can be heard at this link (I was the guest for the first 12 minutes.)

Continue reading "On the air: The Peg, XM Radio and NHL Network" »

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John Vogl

John Vogl

John Vogl has been covering the Sabres since 2002-03, an era that has included playoff runs, last-place finishes and three ownership changes. The award-winning writer is the Buffalo chapter chairman for the Professional Hockey Writers’ Association.

@BuffNewsVogl | [email protected]

About Sabres Edge


Mike Harrington

Mike Harrington

Mike Harrington, a Canisius College graduate who began his career as a News reporter in 1987, has been covering the Buffalo Sabres since 2007. He is a member of the Professional Hockey Writers' Association and can vouch that exposed flesh freezes instantly when walking in downtown Winnipeg in January.

@BNHarrington | [email protected]


Amy Moritz

Amy Moritz

Amy Moritz, a native of Lockport, has a bachelor’s degree in journalism/mass communication from St. Bonaventure University and a master’s degree in humanities from the University at Buffalo. An endurance athlete, she has completed several triathlons, half marathons and marathons.

@amymoritz | [email protected]

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