By John Vogl
James Patrick, who spent 13 seasons in the Sabres' organization as a player and coach, was arrested in Dallas and charged with assaulting his girlfriend, according to the Dallas Morning News.
Police responded to Patrick's home April 30 after a dispute about the contents of his cell phone. His girlfriend told police Patrick arrived home smelling like alcohol and was covered in vomit, according to an arrest warrant affidavit obtained by the newspaper. The warrant says the woman helped undress Patrick but then confronted him after she saw several “inappropriate text messages” from another woman.
They wrestled over control of the phone and Patrick grabbed the woman’s throat and pushed her face into a bathroom faucet, the newspaper quoted police as saying. She suffered a cut on her lower lip.
Patrick is in his first season as an assistant coach for the Stars. Lindy Ruff, his boss in Buffalo, brought him to the Dallas bench after being hired last June. Patrick played for the Sabres from 1998 to 2004 and was an assistant from 2006 to 2013.
“We’re aware of the incident and have spoken to James regarding the matter," Stars General Manager Jim Nill said in a statement. "We’re confident that the authorities will find an appropriate resolution to the situation. We will have no further comment at this time.”
By John Vogl
James Patrick has been in Buffalo since 1998. He played for the Sabres in the Stanley Cup finals. He was an assistant coach when they won the Presidents' Trophy in 2007.
He'll always cherish his time, but it's over now as he and fellow assistant Kevyn Adams have been fired by Ron Rolston. They were holdovers from the staff of Lindy Ruff, and their departures were expected when Rolston had the interim tag removed from his coaching title this week.
"I was lucky to be here for 14 years," Patrick said by phone. "I love Buffalo and I love the Sabres. I was just so lucky to be able to work with great people, especially Lindy. To me, Lindy was the spirit and heart and soul of the Sabres, and to learn from him and work with him was such a great experience."
The 49-year-old said he plans to continue coaching.
The Sabres ranked 29th in power-play efficiency this season and 26th in penalty killing. They also lose 1,820 games of NHL experience with the loss of Patrick and Adams.
"It allows you to know all the situations that players are going through," Patrick said, "from young, naive, inexperienced players to older players still trying to hang on and can sometimes lack confidence but can still be real good, effective players. I guess what Kevyn and I can always relate to is we know exactly what they’re going through in all those situations."
February 21, 2013 - 2:14 PM
By Mike Harrington
TORONTO -- Today is the first day since July 20, 1997 that Lindy Ruff is not the head coach of the Buffalo Sabres. Jeez. Think of everything that has gone on in the hockey world since then, or just simply in life.
For 12 players and three of the four assistant coaches on the roster, Ruff is the only head coach they've ever played for or worked under in the NHL. So it's pretty surreal that they're getting ready for tonight's game against the Toronto Maple Leafs without him.
The players and coaches were on the bus in Amherst yesterday to come to Toronto and some said it was odd Ruff wasn't there yet. When he showed up, he hopped on board and said he had some news. Several thought he was announcing a trade. Instead, he said he was fired and thanked them. And then he hopped off.
"That's when we totally realized changes were on the way," captain Jason Pominville said here today. "We all said, "We gotta go out there and see him.' It was pretty emotional for everyone."
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