Lindy Ruff‘s run in Buffalo is over.
The Sabres fired their longtime head coach on Wednesday after the team sputtered to a 6-10-1 start to the season. Ruff was in the middle of his 15th season as head coach. General manager Darcy Regier made the announcement on Wednesday afternoon.
Ruff had become a Buffalo fixture. Not only has he been head coach since 1997-98, he also played with the Sabres for 10 years during his NHL career, beginning in 1979.
The Sabres made the playoffs in eight of his 14 full seasons with the club, including a Stanley Cup Final appearance in 1999. However, the Sabres haven’t been to a conference final since 2007, and they have only finished better than third in their division once in the last four seasons.
Buffalo had high expectations heading into this season after some offseason moves, but it never came to fruition in the season’s first month.
The Sabres had been playing uninspired hockey as of late, scoring just one goal a loss to Winnipeg on Tuesday, just a couple of days after blowing a late lead against the Penguins.
Of course, there were plenty who thought this had been coming for a while, saying Ruff’s voice was no longer resonating in the Bufffalo dressing room.
Ruff had been the longest-tenured coach in the NHL, and the second-longest in the four major professional sports behind San Antonio Spurs head coach Gregg Popovich.