Full coverage of the Sabres' dismissal of Lindy Ruff is at The Buffalo News, from columns to photos to a look back
February 21, 2013 - 7:19 AM
By John Vogl
Lindy Ruff spent 26 years with the Buffalo Sabres as a coach and player. The run came to an end Wednesday. The Buffalo News has it covered:
*Ruff came to First Niagara Center for practice, meeting some of his players and looking at video before heading to a news conference to honor high schoolers who will take the ice downtown next week. It was like any other day in Sabreland.
Ruff then worked his struggling team hard on the ice, a 90-minute practice that was one of the longest of the season. He met the media for 4 minutes, cutting off questions a little earlier than on most days this season. Then he headed out to his home in Clarence.
But General Manager Darcy Regier soon came over with some startling news.
*When it actually happened, Bucky Gleason writes, my first thought wasn't about the Sabres finally making a bold move that they owed their fan base. I wasn't thinking about who would replace him. Strangely enough, it was about how much I owed Lindy Ruff, knowing that I could never repay him.
*Regier arrived 20 minutes late to announce that he had fired Lindy Ruff as his head coach, Jerry Sullivan writes. It was fitting, because like so many of the general manager’s moves, this one was long overdue.
*Ruff dreamed of holding the Stanley Cup in his adopted town of Buffalo. He pictured himself skating around Memorial Auditorium with the chalice over his head. He envisioned himself clutching the Cup on the bench in First Niagara Center.
He held onto the dream for half of his life. Now he has to let it go.
*Here's a time line of Ruff's experiences in Buffalo, starting with his second-round selection in the 1979 draft.
*Ruff's career in pictures, as seen by Buffalo News photographers.
*Here is what the actual newspaper coverage looks like, from cover to cover.
*The Sabres play in Toronto today, and interim coach Ron Rolston will hold his first practice at 11:30 a.m. We will be in The True North all day, so stay with the Sabres Edge for all the latest.
January 20, 2013 - 4:10 PM
By Mike Harrington
Thomas Vanek's five-point game in Sunday's 5-2 win over the Philadelphia Flyers was the first of his career -- and the first by any Sabre since Drew Stafford had five (including three goals) in a 10-1 win over Atlanta on Jan. 18, 2008.
(4:45 p.m. update: According to the Sabres and the Elias Sports Bureau, Vanek is first NHL player to record five points in a season opener since Phoenix's Steven Reinprecht on Oct 5, 2006.)
Vanek was a big talking point in the locker room, as were Cody Hodgson, Steve Ott and Drew Stafford.
Click any of the files below to go around the room.
Coach Lindy Ruff
Click any of the links below to download the audio files:
February 13, 2012 - 2:11 PM
Lindy Ruff would like to get back on the bench Tuesday night against the New Jersey Devils but the Sabres' coach still has some limitiations so he could be slumming it again in the press box.
Ruff, who is probably weeks away from being on the ice at practice again, watched today's workout in First Niagara Center from the bench wearing a Sabres hoodie and he's feeling better. Assistant James Patrick continued to run the team.
"Even if I do go back tomorrow, I'm going to need help beacause there's situations there where I can't vocalize loud enough, especially with the crowd, and react quick enough to have people ready," Ruff said. "So if I do go back there, I'll have James sort of in the same role."
In addition to being able to yell when needed, Ruff still can't move quickly if a stray puck comes into the bench. He said four of them did during Saturday's game against Tampa Bay and assistant coach Teppo Numminen took a glancing blow from one.
"I'd like to laugh about it but I don't want to because I don't want to get hit at the same time," Ruff said. "If I hung out by the tunnel, there's a good chance I get hit. If I stay in the same spot I normally do, I won't. I don't think we can change too much."
Cody McCormick and Jochen Hecht missed practice, with McCormick still on the day-to-day list and Hecht still hoping to play this season after having a procedure done last week on his neck.
Click below to hear from Ruff on his status, the injuries, the work of Patrick Kaleta and more. And be sure to join me here for another On The Beat Chat today at 3.
February 8, 2012 - 10:53 PM
Lindy Ruff made a surprise appearance at his regular postgame news conference Wednesday nigght following the Sabres' 6-0 win over the Bruins.
"I felt better and better as the game went on," Ruff said. "By the end, I felt really good."
Ruff said he will be in the press box for the forseeable future, partly because he can't get out of the way of errant pucks and also because he can't yell, so it would be difficult to yell out lines over the crowd (and ostensibly resist the urge to yell at officials).
Here's the audio of the session.
December 4, 2011 - 11:16 AM
Lindy Ruff's post-game news conference Saturday night in Nashville lasted less than a minute but he sure made his point about the Jordan Tootoo-Ryan Miller incident. Check it out below.
Your move, Brendan Shanahan.
November 8, 2011 - 11:32 AM
It's been six days since Ryan Miller has been in goal for the Buffalo Sabres. The wait ends tonight when Miller gets the top job in the crease back as the Winnipeg Jets come to First Niagara Center.
Coach Lindy Ruff wasn't giving any hints yesterday but said today he made his decision on the flight home Saturday from Ottawa after Jhonas Enroth posted a 3-2 shootout win over the Senators, his second in two days. Miller's renewed vigor and feistiness during and after Monday's practice had no bearing on the choice, the coach said.
"Everything in this case gets blown out of proportion a little bit,' Ruff said. "Probably Jhonas' numbers (4-0-0, 1.41, .952) are a little unrealistic and Ryan's (0-4, 3.91 in the last four) have taken a hit on some real bad plays by our hockey club at the same time. Any player can go through a tough stretch. In Ryan's situation, he's played good but he hasn't played great and I'll be the first to admit that. It might be a timely save here or there that makes a difference."
Ruff said he's sensed a difference in his team since the seven-minute nightmare Wednesday against Philadelphia that saw Miller get yanked after giving up three goals. The Sabres dominated the final 40 minutes of that game and then put together solid efforts against Calgary and Ottawa.
"I think that was a big wakeup call and I tried to use putting the goalie in without taking a timeout as the opportunity to talk to the team," Ruff said. "The referee was lambasting me at the same time but that situation is an eye-opener. We got off to a good start [to the season]. We were a little off track, a little inconsistent and we need to get back to being a lot harder team on the puck and lot harder team to play against when we don't have it."
Miller declined to speak to the media today. That's a little unusual for him, but there wasn't much new ground to cover anyway after he spoke for six minutes yesterday. And it's not unusual at all in the context of the league. Like starting pitchers in baseball, many NHL goalies don't speak after the morning skate on gameday.
No changes to the lineup. Marc-Andre Gragnani remains in at defense and Mike Weber remains a scratch.
Here the audio from Ruff's chat today with reporters below.
October 6, 2011 - 2:16 PM
The Sabres' official Web site has posted this video from the team dinner Thursday in Helsinki, showing Lindy Ruff making the announcement that Jason Pominville will be the team's captain and that Paul Gaustad, Thomas Vanek, Derek Roy and Drew Stafford will serve as alternates. Pominville then addresses the team.
August 3, 2011 - 3:51 PM
July 27, 2011 - 3:21 PM
ROCHESTER -- Darcy Regier and Ted Black were both freely tossing around the "Sabres University" moniker today in Blue Cross Arena, and Black went one step further when he introduced Ron Rolston as the "first professor at the University of Sabres." That's otherwise known as the new head coach of the Rochester Amerks.
It's an out-of-the-box hire when you're putting a coach with no pro experience in the AHL, but Rolston has a combined 20 years with the US National Development Team and as an assistant in major Division I college hockey. And he's not unfamiliar to Regier, who said he met Rolston several years ago in Lake Placid through Jon Christiano, the Sabres' director of pro scouting, and has followed his work since with the US program.
"I personally believe you have to be in the forefront of whatever business you're in," Regier said. "In our case, we have for a number of reasons strived to find advantages outside of conventional wisdom. ... I recognized that we first decided to come back to Rochester, the reference to University was largely about doing things differently, taking more responsibility for the players' development and also demand the player take more responsiblity for his own development.
"When we started to look at the model and started to look at potential coaches who could fill that and believed they could fill that type of a model, Ron to me was right at the forefront. He was our first
Rolston said he's been watching Terry Pegula closely since the Sabres owner donated $88 million to Penn State to start a hockey program and build an arena last fall.
"There's not many organizations I'd want to work for in terms of their philsophy, core values, their beliefs in how they want to run things," said Rolston, 44. "Buffalo was certainly at the top of my list in terms of organization, in terms of clear vision on where they want to go, in terms of what they believe in, the values they have and philosophy they have for players at every level. To me, it was extremely enticing."
Regier said the Sabres approached USA Hockey for permission to talk to Rolston and interviewed him last week in Buffalo.
"I feel very strongly that he is the only best candidate but we are going to learn from him," Regier said. "He hopefully will learn from us and it will point to championship teams in Rochester and Buffalo."
July 26, 2011 - 4:40 PM
The Rochester Democrat & Chronicle is reporting there is an 11 a.m. news conference tomorrow at Blue Cross Arena to announce the Sabres have named Ron Rolston as the new head coach of the Rochester Amerks.
What's that you say? Ron Who? That was my reaction too.
Rolston, 44, has never been a pro coach so this seems like a risky hire on the surface. But he's hardly a neophyte either. He has been the coach for USA Hockey’s National Team Development Program the past seven years and has been an assistant coach at big-name college programs such as Lake Superior State, Clarkson, Harvard and Boston College. The Sabres want to continue to develop young talent and Rolston certainly appears to have the resume to do that.
Rolston is the older brother of longtime NHL player Brian Rolston.
He interviewed earlier this month for the head job at Western Michigan University. He has twice coached the U.S. team in the World Junior Championships, winning a bronze medal in 2007.
5:40 update: Philadelphia Flyers star James van Riemsdyk has tweeted his congratulations to Rolston.
April 29, 2011 - 2:00 PM
John Vogl, Bucky Gleason and Mike Harrington offer some video commentary on Friday's State of the Sabres address featuring Terry Pegula, Ted Black, Darcy Regier and Lindy Ruff.
Topics include Ruff's contract extension, the team's approach to free agency, what the team needs for 2011-12, and what will change in HSBC Arena.
Click below to watch.
April 28, 2011 - 8:39 PM
The Sabres' players cleaned out their lockers and had their say Thursday morning. On Friday morning, it will be the front office's turn.
On Thursday evening, the team announced that it will have a State of the Sabres news conference with owner Terry Pegula, President Ted Black, General Manager Darcy Regier and coach Lindy Ruff Friday at 11 a.m. in HSBC Arena.
There will certainly be some pressing issues to address with Regier and Ruff, notably their feeling on the team's unrestricted free agents and young players, as well as the status of the injured Jason Pominville -- who may not be ready for training camp or the start of the regular season. But it will particularly noteworthy to hear what Pegula and Black have to say about the team moving forward.
They've promised big things since they took over and have helped foster a rapid change in the culture of the organization. This will be their first real discussion of how they plan to handle the offseason and it should be interesting.
April 27, 2011 - 12:01 AM
PHILADELPHIA -- Comments from the Sabres after Tuesday's 5-2 loss to the Flyers in Game Seven:
April 22, 2011 - 11:41 AM
PHILADELPHIA -- Peter Laviolette and Lindy Ruff have some history in the chirping department dating to the 2006 Eastern Conference finals when Laviolette coached Carolina. So it figured the Flyers coach would have some reaction to Ruff's "they're whining" rant from yesterday.
"I thought it was funny," Laviolette said. "One of the [Flyers' assistant] coaches did a little spoof on it today in the coaches office and took out the word 'whining' and put in 'winning.' It was pretty funny. We don't get involved in too much of that crap but it was funny. We had a good time with it."
Pressed on whether it was inevitable Ruff would spout off in this series based on his '06 experience, Laviolette simply said, "We don't get wrapped up too much in that. We had a good chuckle."
Ruff said he wasn't worried he was motivating the Flyers with his comments.
"I think we got a lot of motivation from their comments is what i think," Ruff said. "That we got away with murder, we got a lot of motivation out of that. That really fired us up."
In Laviolette's session, he dodges most questions about Chris Pronger, discusses Ruff and heaps praise on the Flyers' penalty killers.
Ruff was quizzed quite a bit about Brad Boyes by NHL.com, and also discusses Tim Connolly, the need for a better power play and more on Ryan Miller
April 21, 2011 - 12:07 AM
During his postgame news conference, Lindy Ruff gives it up to (of course) Ryan Miller, Rob Niedermayer and the grittiness of his team following the 1-0 win over the Flyers.
Click below to listen.
April 16, 2011 - 3:34 PM
PHILADELPHIA -- It's that time of year when talking to Lindy Ruff evokes international intrigue and sometimes requires a linguistics degree. Every word Ruff utters is measured and you better ask exactly what you mean to get an answer. And even then, you probably won't get a straight answer.
Ruff's pregame meeting with the media today was pretty comical. He answered a couple cursory questions about Dennis Persson's recall, so then I asked him if the presence of Persson means Andrej Sekera simply isn't getting any better. The conversation then went like this as everyone around us laughed. And hey, Ruff and I had a chuckle too. We all know the deal once the playoffs start.
Ruff: Who said Andrej wasn't better?
Me: Is he better?
Ruff: Andrej's better.
Me: So is Andrej out or in?
Me: I'm not telling you. He's just better.
Ruff did reveal that Shaone Morrisonn is in fact out but Ruff said he's day to day. So we'll have to watch the warmup to see about Sekera-Persson. Bucky Gleason and John Vogl will be live chatting at 4:30 and we'll have the latest.
March 6, 2011 - 4:20 PM
ST. PAUL, Minn. -- With no morning skate today, Lindy Ruff just held his pregame session with the media upon his team's arrival at the XCel Energy Center for tonight's matchup against the Minnesota Wild. On the injury front, Ruff said Jochen Hecht and Mike Grier were both day to day and Grier was feeling better today. So that's a good sign.
In the wake of yesterday's win in Philadelphia, I asked Ruff about his club's continued penchant for giving up short-handed goals and what adjustments the Sabres might make. Frankly, I'm of the ilk to scrap four-forward alignments, especially with Tim Connolly at the point, and spend more time just using two defensemen back there.
The Sabres have scored only two shorties and have given up an NHL-high 12, with Kimmo Timonen's goal yesterday coming after Ruff called a timeout hoping his power play would produce a 4-2 lead. But they're plus-11 on the season in all other goal situations. Ruff would have none of my thought of going a little more defensive at times as the season winds down.
"I'm not going to coach the game scared if we get scored against because we're trying to score goals in key situations," he said. "The appropriate measure in yesterday's game was to try to make sure we get the fourth goal. If we change our power play unit, all it does is send a message that we don't want to score and we're going to take a safer approach. I don't think we're at that place at this time of the season."
Hard to argue with that. Ruff wants to go for it. I really liked the answer. It was a defiant, push-forward attitude reflective of how this team has played lately.
A point today finally puts Buffalo into eighth place. The Sabres are 4-0-2 in their last six overall and 7-1-1 in their last nine on the road. Going back even more, they're 17-7-4 since Dec. 28 and 28-16-6 since Nov. 5.
I guess he can say who am I to argue, right? We'll see.
Stay tuned for today's live blog.
February 24, 2011 - 6:27 PM
Sabres owner Terry Pegula and team President Ted Black met with editors, reporters and other Buffalo News staffers for an editorial board meeting on Wednesday, Feb. 23.
Listen to the full meeting here (42m49s):
Here's a part of the discussion about head coach Lindy Ruff and general manager Darcy Regier (7m55s):
The conversation included questions about Pegula's wealth and what it means for the team (11m10s):
Here's Pegula talking about what made him make the move to buy the Sabres (1m54s):
Those participating in the meeting included News President Warren T. Colville, Editor and Vice President Margaret Sullivan, Assistant Managing Editor Elizabeth Kahn, Sports Editor Steve Jones, Deputy Editorial Page Editor Kevin Walter, editorial writer Dawn Bracely and the sports department's Jerry Sullivan, Bucky Gleason, Mike Harrington and John Vogl.
News reporter and columnist Denise Jewell Gee recorded audio and video at the meeting.
February 1, 2011 - 1:46 PM
In the wake of today's news that GM Darcy Regier received a two-year contract extension in the fall, it was natural to ask Lindy Ruff if he received the same treatment.
Ruff pulled a shocker after Tuesday's practice in HSBC Arena when he revealed he also got an extension offer and turned it down. Understandably, Ruff wasn't all that interested in the line of questioning so his answers were pretty cryptic when pressed by The News on the issue. Here's the entire conversation I had with the coach after practice.
In the wake of today's news regarding Darcy, did you get a contract extension in the fall?
"I did not, no."
Were you offered one?
"Yes I was."
Did you reject it?
"It's a situation that really I'd rather not talk about. It's nothing to do ... They were gracious in what they offered me."
So your contract goes through this season, correct?
Do you want to stay?
"Yeah, I want to stay."
Have you told Terry Pegula you want to stay?
"No. We had a conversation about hockey and that's as far as I'll go."
Hmmmm. Pretty interesting week so far here at One Seymour H. Knox Plaza.
September 13, 2010 - 10:02 AM
Stay tuned for more audio and video from the first day of Sabres rookie camp.
In the interim, here's the audio from Lindy Ruff's first press conference of the season, featuring discussions about Tyler Ennis and the Tim Kennedy situation. (excuse the first few seconds of interference as the cameras get set up).
April 28, 2010 - 7:09 PM
The Sabres have called an end-of-season press conference featuring Larry Quinn, Darcy Regier and Lindy Ruff for Thursday morning in HSBC Arena. You may remember they never had such a session last year after their second straight playoff miss and they were roundly criticized for it. Lesson learned. Maybe a playoff berth has them a tad less skittish about music-facing.
Lots of interesting chatter on Twitter this evening about the line of questioning Tim Connolly faced in the locker room today in the wake of his playoff no-show (Remember not to shoot the messengers, folks). So the comments section is open here now: We'll certainly have our list of questions but what's the three-star list of inquiries you'd have for this trio?
April 24, 2010 - 1:55 PM
No great protests from Lindy Ruff today about Zdeno Chara's Game Six suspension being lifted by the NHL. The Sabres coach seemed disappointed but said he knew about the ruling early this morning.
"I said last night you run the risk of being suspended,' Ruff said today in HSBC Arena. "The league's interpretation is what it is. I was arguing for the instigator. That's why I stayed on the bench. I had Rivs [Craig Rivet] go over and say, 'That's an instigator.'
"It really doesn't matter what I think. It really doesn't. I don't think that little slash [from Paul Gaustad] hurt him though. An instigator is an instigator. The referees deemed he was the instigator. I can find lots of little slashes in the game if you want me to find that."
Asked if Chara was getting kid-gloves star treatment, Ruff said, "I've heard that argument before and I'm not even going to go down that road."
The Sabres were off today. Ruff said Thomas Vanek was skating with a couple players and the team's callups at the Amherst Center while the Sabres conducting their press conferences downtown. Vanek will go through "battle drills" to see if there's any way he can play Monday.
"We'll get a pretty good idea of where he's at," Ruff said. "You run the risk when you get him involved physically, that you can set him back. I hope today is a good day and he gets through it and we can ramp up the type of practice that he can go through."
Rivet said he also expected Chara's suspension to be pushed aside by the league.
"I'm not really surprised," Rivet said. "It's something I expect at this time of year. I think the action would have to be a lot worse to get a suspension. He was a little bit frustrated at the end of the game but I don't think it was really cause for a suspension."
Audio from today:
Sabres coach Lindy Ruff:
Sabres captain Craig Rivet:
April 23, 2010 - 2:30 PM
Marc Savard is back skating with the Bruins but his return is not imminent. A major outgrowth of his injury, however, has been increased playing time for Vladimir Sobotka, a 5-foot-10 pepperpot of energy who has emerged as one of the surprising players in the series.
Sobotka is clearly under the Sabres' skin. Lindy Ruff even took a shot at him yesterday when he said, "You've got that little Sobotka who's ducking now, doesn't want to get hit by [Tyler] Ennis."
So Sobotka got plenty of attention in the Bruins' locker room today after the pregame skate. He said he hadn't heard about Ruff's comment but he wasn't too happy when it was relayed to him either. What would his message be to Ruff?
"I've got nothing to say to him," Sobotka said. "Just on the ice. I'll show you on the ice."
Sobotka has shown plenty in this series with 23 hits in the last three games, a key assist on Dennis Wideman's goal in Game Three and his first NHL fight (with Andrej Sekera).
He spent the bulk of last season at Providence, and this year had just 10 points and was minus-7 in 61 games.
"It comes with more ice time and more confidence," Sobotka said. "I have trust of my coach on the ice. I have more confidence to make plays and get better."
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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.
About Sabres Edge
Mike Harrington, a Canisius College graduate who began his career as a News reporter in 1987, is in his sixth season covering the Buffalo Sabres. 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.
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