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Stars' Peverley issues statement of thanks at presser, will have season-ending heart procedure

By Mike Harrington

Dallas Stars forward Rich Peverley, who had a cardiac event on the bench during  game Monday, will not play hockey again this season. His career is certainly in question too. But there was one big piece of good news out of Big D today: Peverley walked into a press conference, issued a statement of thanks to numerous entities that included team and local medical personnel, and walked out.

Hockey, after all, is a game. That's life.

Peverley was diagnosed with an irregular heartbeat during training camp, and will have a procedure he was hoping to undergo after the season at the Cleveland Clinic. Doctors said they simply don't know about Peverley's career at this point.

In case you missed it in today's paper, I wrote a column talking to Sabres assistant coach Teppo Numminen, who had heart surgery in 2007 and came back to play his final season in the NHL after the procedure.

Dallas players remained shaken over what they saw on their bench Monday.

With Peverley on their minds, the Stars posted a 3-2 overtime win Tuesday in St. Louis to hand Ryan Miller his first loss as a Blue. Peverley texted "Keep rolling" to old friend Lindy Ruff after the win.

Here's is the video of Peverley's statement today:

Continue reading "Stars' Peverley issues statement of thanks at presser, will have season-ending heart procedure" »

Stars' Peverley, who has history of heart trouble, recovering after collapsing on bench

By John Vogl

After watching Rich Peverley collapse on the Stars' bench, Lindy Ruff called for help and had one emotion.

"I was scared," Dallas' coach said Monday night after the postponement of his game against Columbus. "My first emotion was we need somebody here real quick. When he dropped, it was red alert, don't worry about the game, don't worry about anything else; just turn around and scream for a doctor and that's all. It was just let's get him the help he needs, and they came and got him the help.

"For me, it was something I don't want to witness again."

Ruff was right. Peverley, who was being treated for an irregular heartbeat and had a procedure prior to the season, needed immediate help.

"He was brought back to the hallway for treatment, where we treated him for a cardiac event, successfully treated with standard therapy,” said Dr. Gil Salazar. “We provided oxygen for him. We started an IV. We did chest compressions on him and defibrillated him, provided some electricity to bring a rhythm back to his heart, and that was successful with one attempt, which is very reassuring.

"As soon as we treated him, he regained consciousness. He was alert and awake talking to us after the event and quickly transported to the hospital. At this point, I was able to talk to him in the back of the ambulance, and he was able to tell me where he was and he actually wanted to get back in the game."

The Stars and the NHL decided to postpone the game, with a makeup date to be announced later. Peverley collapsed just minutes into the game.

"There's nobody in there that wants to play hockey right now, and I think everybody understands that when you've witnessed what they had to witness and that's their teammate," Ruff said. "And that's the right place to be. That's the right emotion to have. They're not doing very good, and I wouldn't expect them to be."

The Dallas Morning News reports that Peverley had heart problems after last week's game against the Sabres, which resulted in an adjustment of his medication.

"If it wasn't for our doctors and all the members reacting so quickly and so efficiently, I could be standing here with a different story," Ruff said. "But they did an absolutely fabulous job."

Continue reading "Stars' Peverley, who has history of heart trouble, recovering after collapsing on bench" »

Lindy Ruff credits his players after becoming 12th coach to 600 wins

By John Vogl

DALLAS -- So, Lindy Ruff, what does it mean to become the 12th coach to win 600 games?

"It means I’m on my way to 700 hopefully," the Stars' coach said with a smile after beating the Sabres, 3-2, Monday to reach the milestone.

In typical Ruff fashion, he followed his joke with a serious response after improving to 600-454-172.

"It means that I’ve had a lot of good players," Ruff said in American Airlines Center. "I’ve coached a lot of good players. I had some real good teams, a Presidents’ Trophy team.

"Those wins for the most part belong to all those guys on the ice who go out and get them for you. The guys went out and got me one."

He did it at the expense of Jhonas Enroth, who was named First Star after making 36 saves for the Sabres.

To hear from Ruff, Enroth and Sabres coach Ted Nolan, click the audio files below.

Lindy Ruff

Jhonas Enroth

Ted Nolan

Lindy Ruff goes for 600th win against the Sabres

By John Vogl

DALLAS -- Lindy Ruff's hat and address are different, but some things never change. The Dallas coach and longtime Sabres bench boss is going for a milestone but claims he had no idea.

Ruff enters tonight's game against the Sabres with a record of 599-454-172 in 1,225 games as an NHL coach. With a win against streaking Buffalo, he'll hit No. 600.

"I hadn’t done the research," Ruff said in American Airlines Center. "I just want to win. I don’t care if it’s 550, 420, 601. We’re in one hell of a battle, and the two points is really important for us."

The Stars hold a wild-card spot in the tough Western Conference, and Ruff wants to stay there with a win against his old team. Buffalo has won three straight for the first time all season.

"I think from watching them play they’ve got a pretty loose group," Ruff said. "They’re making plays. They’re scoring some goals. They’ve had good goaltending, and we don’t want to be another victim of that."

Ruff spent a relatively calm decade and a half in Buffalo, but things have been anything but calm lately with the front-office and on-ice changes.

"It’s been a little bit of craziness, but I have no time to sit and ponder what’s going on," Ruff said. "I have to make sure that my team is ready."

Ruff's reaction to firing of Rolston & Regier: 'You have to win games at home'

By Mike Harrington

Lindy Ruff lasted 16 years as the Sabres' head coach, all of them spent under GM Darcy Regier. Ruff's good friend gave him the news in February his time here was up and Regier himself got that news late last night from owner Terry Pegula. So did Ruff's replacement, Ron Rolston.

"It’s affected a few good friends of mine, but I’m not surprised,” Ruff said today in a post by Hall of Fame writer Jim Matheson in Edmonton, where the Stars were preparing for tonight's game against the Oilers. “I’ve seen a few (Buffalo) games. I’ve seen the crowd reaction and where they’re at. You have to win games at home.

"The toughest situation for any coach is standing behind the bench and losing games at home. There’s one thing about being entertaining but there’s another thing about putting wins on the board.”

Continue reading "Ruff's reaction to firing of Rolston & Regier: 'You have to win games at home'" »

Video: Sabres' tribute to Ruff and fans' standing ovation

By John Vogl

The Sabres played a video tribute to team legend Lindy Ruff on the scoreboard tonight during his return, a highlight-filled package that started with a goal and his fight with New York Islanders goaltender Billy Smith.

Continue reading "Video: Sabres' tribute to Ruff and fans' standing ovation" »

Stars plan sitdown with Seguin over social media snafus

Tyler_Cup_01 copy-1
Tyler Seguin hoists the Stanley Cup in his hometown of Brampton, Ont., in 2011 (Getty Images)

 By Mike Harrington

Old friend Lindy Ruff certainly felt like his new team acquired a No. 1 center for many years Friday when the Dallas Stars landed Tyler Seguin in a seven-player deal with the Boston Bruins. But, as the playoffs went on, Seguin's poor play in Boston was surrounded by murmurs of his party animal lifestyle and that was chronicled in this Boston Herald story.

Seguin's mother ripped the Bruins in a Toronto Star story last week, saying the team leaked some of the information to discredit Seguin. One problem? Dad admitted to the Star that kiddo is in fact prone to party. 

So what did Seguin allegedly do to commemorate his trade? Stage a big rave at his Cape Cod pad with friends. On Saturday, he then tweeted (since deleted) "Only steers and queers in Texas, and I’m not a cow.” Early Sunday afternoon, Seguin tweeted he was taking down his Twitter account due to hackers. Uh-huh. 

(4 p.m. update: The Stars have issued a statement denouncing the tweet, saying in part: "We've addressed the issue directly with Tyler and we'll continue to work on educating our players regarding the importance of their conduct on all forms of social media.")

All this can't sit well with Ruff and especially new Stars GM Jim Nill, who just sent valuable veteran Loui Eriksson to Boston as the key piece for Seguin. According to Mike Heika of the Dallas Morning News, Nill said today that Seguin is scheduled in Dallas on Monday and they will be having a heart-to-heart about social media and other things off the ice.

"My problem with social media is you just don’t know how much of it is true,” Nill said. “I think, as a society, we are trained to believe 100 percent of it is true, and that’s obviously not the case. It’s difficult to validate how things might happen, whether someone was truly hacked, or just what might have happened. I can’t go off hearsay, I need to ask questions.”

Nill will ask plenty Monday and the Dallas media is scheduled to ask Seguin some more Tuesday. That figures to be interesting.

Ruff shows his wit, passion to coach in accepting job with Stars

By John Vogl

When Dallas General Manager Jim Nill began interviews for the Stars’ vacant coaching job, the first call went to Lindy Ruff.

“I said to Jim when I first agreed to meet with him, ‘I’ll meet with you, but we can’t meet in the crease,’” Ruff said Friday.

The history between Ruff and the team that earned a controversial Stanley Cup victory over him in 1999 is unavoidable. Ruff also can’t hide his passion to coach. The present took precedence over the past as Ruff has agreed to become the Stars’ bench boss.

Continue reading "Ruff shows his wit, passion to coach in accepting job with Stars" »

It's official: Stars hire Lindy Ruff as coach

By John Vogl

One of the Sabres' exes lives in Texas.

The Dallas Stars have officially named Lindy Ruff as their next head coach, following up on statements made Thursday by President Jim Lites that a deal was imminent. The Stars and General Manager Jim Nill will introduce Ruff at a 1 p.m. news conference.

“I am honored to be joining the Dallas Stars organization,” Ruff said in a statement released this morning. “After speaking at length with Jim Nill, it was clear that all the right pieces are coming together to return this club to the upper-echelon of the NHL. I look forward to leading its resurgence.”

Said Nill: “One of the trademarks of successful organizations is their ability to have continuity and stability for an extended period of time. It is clear from Lindy’s record, and from our own conversations, that we have found the right person to provide that stability and lead this club to the next level. His steady hand and experience will prove invaluable in returning our team as a top-tier contender in the NHL.”

Report: Dallas Stars set to hire Lindy Ruff as coach

By John Vogl

If you can't beat 'em, join 'em.

Former Sabres coach Lindy Ruff, who suffered one of his most bitter defeats at the hands of the Dallas Stars in the 1999 Stanley Cup finals, is set to become the Stars' next coach, according to a report out of Texas.

"We respect Lindy a lot. I think he would be a great fit for us. I don't think the deal is done, but it would be a good thing for the Dallas Stars if he is hired,” Stars President Jim Lites told the Fort Worth Star-Telegram. “I don't think there is anything standing in the way of it other than getting Jim and Lindy together on money."

The Sabres fired Ruff in February in his 16th season as head coach.

"If he's happy, I'm very happy for him," Sabres General Manager Darcy Regier said.

Ruff acknowledges potential relocation from Buffalo, but Sabres' ex-coach retains dream of Stanley Cup for city

By John Vogl

Lindy Ruff has begun looking toward his next job – the New York Rangers are reportedly the latest to give him a call – but he’ll remain a Western New Yorker. In fact, he still carries the same dream for Buffalo as when he represented the Sabres.

“There’s one thing missing from my playing career and my coaching career,” Ruff said tonight. “I have no regrets on my playing career. I have no regrets on my coaching career, but there is one thing I want to see Buffalo have one day and that’s the Stanley Cup.”

The Sabres fired Ruff as their coach in February, but his ties to the community remain strong. The Clarence Chamber of Commerce honored him as its inaugural Sportsman of the Year during a ceremony at Westwood Country Club, and the Clarence resident received handshakes, laughs and applause from his neighbors in the Northtowns.

“I owe a lot to the City of Buffalo, to the community of Clarence,” Ruff said. “My kids all grew up and were raised here, went through school. Not many coaches can say their kids went to one school.

“I don’t have any plans of moving. I might have to relocate short term for a while, but home will always be Clarence.”

It’s possible the relocation could be downstate. The Sabres, who still have Ruff under contract, have granted the Rangers permission to speak with the 53-year-old about their coaching vacancy, according to multiple reports.

Ruff declined an interview request.

Ruff was scheduled to play in a golf tournament that accompanied his award banquet, but he canceled to take care of important phone calls, according to an event organizer. He has already interviewed for the Dallas Stars’ coaching job, and he has been linked to the opening in Vancouver, too.

Sabres give Rangers permission to speak with Ruff, report says; coaching candidate has 'phone calls' today

By John Vogl

Lindy Ruff and the New York Rangers reportedly have permission to talk with one another. The former Sabres coach was scheduled to talk to someone important today.

Ruff is being honored by the Clarence Chamber of Commerce as its inaugural "Sportsman of the Year," but he skipped the accompanying golf tournament this afternoon because he had important phone calls scheduled, an event representative said. He is expected to attend the award ceremony this evening.

The New York Rangers, who have a coaching vacancy, sought and received permission from the Sabres to interview Ruff, wrote today while confirming a "Hockey Night in Canada" report from the weekend. Ruff is still being paid by the Sabres, who relieved him from his coaching duties in February.

Ruff edges Vigneault, Messier as favorite to get Rangers' coaching job

By John Vogl

The bookies are big on Lindy Ruff.

When Vancouver axed Alain Vigneault last week, the gambling website installed Ruff as the favorite to replace him. The Rangers fired coach John Tortorella on Wednesday, and once again Bovada is looking at the former Sabres coach to step behind the bench.

Here are the odds, with our usual disclaimer: Gambling is bad. Your money is much better spent on whiskey, women and concerts.

Continue reading "Ruff edges Vigneault, Messier as favorite to get Rangers' coaching job" »

Rangers fire Tortorella; could Ruff go from Sabres to New York for a second time?

By John Vogl

The first time Lindy Ruff left Buffalo, back in 1989, he went to the New York Rangers. It's possible the scenario could happen again.

The Rangers have fired coach John Tortorella, which might open the door for Ruff to step behind the Blueshirts' bench.

Continue reading "Rangers fire Tortorella; could Ruff go from Sabres to New York for a second time?" »

Want to bet Lindy Ruff will end up in Vancouver? You can

By John Vogl

Lindy Ruff stood strong in Buffalo for 16 years while coaches all around him lost their jobs. Now, whenever someone gets fired, Ruff gets mentioned as a replacement.

He's the betting man's choice to end up in Vancouver.

The Canucks fired Alain Vigneault this week, and the gambling website has installed Ruff as the favorite to take over.

Here are the odds, with the usual disclaimer: Gambling is bad. Your money is much better spent on concerts, women and whiskey.

Continue reading "Want to bet Lindy Ruff will end up in Vancouver? You can" »

Around the Worlds: Sabres updates from the IIHF Championships

By Mike Harrington

Updates from the IIHF World Championships in Sweden and Finland: 

Thomas Vanek has team-highs of three goals and 20 shots on goal for Austria. The Aussies beat Slovakia in a shootout, with Vanek scoring the decisive goal. Christian Ehrhoff has been the workhorse for Germany, averaging 29:31 per game, while Andrej Sekera has done likewise for Slovakia at 24:55. Jhonas Enroth has a 1.76 goals-against average in the nets for Sweden.

In the standings -- go to the bottom of the page at this link -- Lindy Ruff-coached Team Canada has the tourney's best record at 4-0-1 for 13 points (losing only to Switzerland in a shootout). Finland leads the other group with 11 points. Team USA has nine points, tied with Russia and two behind the Finns.

Meanwhile, Rochester Amerks center Zemgus Girgensons, the Sabres' second first-round pick last June, has been suspended for one game for a butt-ending violation and will miss Latvia's game Saturday against Germany. The incident occurred during Thursday's 5-3 win over Slovakia.

Ruff vs. Rolston by the numbers: Where did the Sabres improve?

By Mike Harrington

I did some number-crunching today on the Sabres' stats under Lindy Ruff and the comparable numbers under Ron Rolston and found no real dramatic changes. A bad hockey team under the old coach was still a pretty bad hockey team at times under the new one.

Games were a little tighter under Rolston, who seemed to pull back on some of Ruff's four-in-the-zone rushes with defenseman pinching up. Buffalo's goals-for dropped a little but it's goals-against came down by more than half a goal under Rolston, so that was good.

The Sabres simply didn't have the puck enough by any measure, whether you're looking at traditional stats, new-wave analytics or the basic eye test that resulted in fan boos. Opponents average 33.5 shots per game against Ruff's Sabres and 33.5 shots per game against Rolston's. Odd. The Sabres were last in the league in shots against.

Continue reading "Ruff vs. Rolston by the numbers: Where did the Sabres improve?" »

Hockey Canada names Lindy Ruff as coach of world championship team

By John Vogl

BOSTON -- Lindy Ruff is getting back behind the bench.

Hockey Canada has named the former Sabres coach as its bench boss for the world championships to be held May 3-19 in Finland and Sweden. Tampa Bay General Manager Steve Yzerman will be the executive director, while Doug Shedden will be Ruff's assistant coach.

Ruff, fired in February during his 16th year in Buffalo, coached Canada's 2009 world championship team to a silver medal. He was a gold medal-winning assistant at the 2010 Olympic Games.

The players will be chosen later and usually consist of NHL stars whose clubs failed to make the playoffs. The Sabres are in 10th place in the Eastern Conference.

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.

Continue reading "Big changes for Lightning, no changes for Sabres; Yzerman calls Lindy after tabbing Cooper" »

No Lindy for Lightning

By Mike Harrington

TAMPA, Fla. -- The Lightning have officially confirmed the multiple reports on Twitter from CBC, TSN and Sportsnet among others say that revealed Jon Cooper is getting  promoted from Syracuse of the AHL to become the team's new head coach. So no Lindy Ruff. 

Cooper ran the Crunch practice today and will make his Tampa Bay debut here Friday night against New Jersey.  Assistants Dan Lacroix and Steve Thomas will run the team Tuesday against the Sabres; Martin Raymond was on the staff as well but has been sent to Syracuse to work under new Crunch coach Rob Zettler. 

Click here for my story on the Sabres' thoughts on Ruff showing up on the Tampa bench or, for that matter, any other. And interim coach Ron Rolston has some thoughts on Cooper, his former AHL rival.

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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 |