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Big changes for Lightning, no changes for Sabres; Yzerman calls Lindy after tabbing Cooper

By Mike Harrington

TAMPA, Fla. -- No changes for the Sabres tonight as Ryan Miller will be in goal against the Tampa Bay Lightning, while Andrej Sekera (injured) and the tandem of John Scott and Drew Stafford (healthy) will be the scratches. Interim coach Ron Rolston said Sekera could play Thursday at Florida.

Big changes, of course, with Tampa as AHL coach Jon Cooper has been hired to replace Guy Boucher but will make his debut Friday night. Assistants will run the Lightning again tonight as they did Sunday in Winnipeg.

Tampa GM Steve Yzerman met with the media today to discuss the coaching change but didn't give a whole lot of clarity into the situation when I asked him about the possibility of hiring Lindy Ruff.

"To be perfectly honest with you, I called Lindy yesterday to let him know what I was doing," Yzerman said. "I had made my mind up when I decided to make the coaching change about what I was doing and that we were going with Jon Cooper.

"I thought it was important out of respect to Lindy that I'd made my decision previous to letting Guy go, that this was the direction I was going."

So if Yzerman didn't talk to Ruff about the job, why did he feel compelled to call him and say Ruff wasn't getting the job? Bizarre. Reeks more  of a case where Ruff turned it down or there were financial issues the sides couldn't agree upon.

After all, the Sabres promoted Ron Rolston within an hour of firing Ruff while the Lightning dabbled without a head coach from the time Boucher was fired late Saturday night until Cooper was made official Monday night. Hmmm.


Lindy Ruff | Tampa Bay Lightning
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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 |

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 |

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 |