Sabres fire long-standing coach Ruff after 16 years in job

Wed Feb 20, 2013 4:43pm EST
 

(Reuters) - Lindy Ruff's long run as head coach of the Buffalo Sabres came to an end on Wednesday when the National Hockey League (NHL) team fired him after 16 years at the helm.

The move followed a loss to the Winnipeg Jets on Tuesday that left the Sabres with a 6-10-1 mark and at the bottom of the Northeast Division with 13 points.

Ruff, who also played most of his NHL career in Buffalo, began coaching the Sabres in 1997-98 and was the longest-tenured coach in the league.

He had a career regular-season record of 571-432-84 along with 78 ties and led the team to the 1999 Stanley Cup finals.

There was no immediate word on Ruff's replacement although the team was scheduled to hold a news conference later on Wednesday.

Ruff, winner of the Jack Adams trophy as coach of the year in 2006, was fired by general manager Darcy Regier several hours after putting the team through its paces in a practice on Wednesday morning.

The Sabres play their next game on Thursday at the Air Canada Centre against the Toronto Maple Leafs.

(Reporting by Larry Fine in New York, Editing by Steve Keating)

 
Buffalo Sabres coach Lindy Ruff watches from the bench during the second period of their NHL hockey game against the Toronto Maple Leafs in Buffalo, New York January 29, 2013. REUTERS/Doug Benz