Thursday, February 21, 2013
Lindy Ruff- One of us (Buffalonians)
The firing of Lindy Ruff yesterday, after 16 years as the head coach of the Buffalo Sabres, was necessary, but not relished by anyone (except a slacking player or two). Lindy Ruff is a class individual who has earned the respect of every resident of Buffalo over the years. I can hardly remember the Sabres without Ruff as a player or coach.
The reasons for his firing was the subject of a post I put up last year. Much of what I said stayed true for a year before management finally acted yesterday. Local Buffalo sports commentators, like my old buddy Mike Schopp at WGR 550, have been outlining the case for firing Ruff for some time (see his latest offering here). Again, no Buffalo fan is happy about what had to be done. I fully expect Ruff to land a coaching job somewhere before next season, and do quite well. He is a very effective coach who leaves Buffalo with a record of 571-432-162(ties). 500 wins for an NHL coach is a rare and incredible milestone.
A local radio personality in Buffalo captured my feelings about Ruff very well-
"Like many fans, I grew up with Lindy Ruff being a part of the Sabres. He fought Billy Smith of the Islanders who was the dirtiest goalie I ever saw. He yelled No Goal at a rally after the Sabres lost in the Stanley Cup Finals. He made Ken Hitchcock, then the coach of the Flyers, swear at him during a playoff series. He almost fought Ottawa coach Bryan Murray when Chris Neil of the Senators cheap shotted Chris Drury. He was one of us and that worked for us for a time as well." - The Bulldog (WGR550)
Many thanks to Lindy Ruff for the decades of devotion to Buffalo and the Sabres.