Lockport Union-Sun & Journal Online

Columns

February 27, 2013

ROOT: An era comes to an end

Lockport Union-Sun & Journal — I must have been a little more than 12 years old when I wound up at a charity softball game that the Buffalo Sabres were playing against a local organization of some kind. Larry Playfair was there and so was a whole host of my heroes. I was in awe and I was one of those kids running around getting autographs. It was awesome.

There was a section of bleachers on the other side of the entrance, to my right, where a lone figure sat. He had long blond hair and was slender in build. I kept asking myself if that was Lindy Ruff. I couldn’t tell and no one around me could tell either. By the time I worked up the courage to go over to that section of bleachers where this lone, blond figure sat all by himself, he got up and walked over to the field. Indeed it was Lindy Ruff.

At that time, he was still waiting to be the Sabre that nearly got his eye poked out by Islanders’ goalie Billy Smith. I never knew he would come back to the team as the longest tenured coach in team history. He never struck me as coaching material, but he definitely wound up fitting the bill.

When Lindy took over as the head coach of the Buffalo Sabres, it was in the wake of the Ted Nolan scandal. Nolan was a fiercely popular head coach that was fired for what appeared to be no reason. Some people claim that they know all of the facts surrounding a supposed affair with Dominik Hasek’s wife, or whatever happened. But the truth was never revealed.

Lindy was forced to get on the phone and personally call season ticket holders and beg them to keep their season tickets. It was almost as if Lindy was the guy that had to personally call every fan and apologize for the Ted Nolan fiasco. What followed was 16 years of ups and downs that finally ended last week.

Text Only
Columns
Featured Ads
Photos


Twitter Updates
Follow us on twitter
Front page
AP Video
Couple Channel Grief Into Soldiers' Retreat WWI Aviation Still Alive at Aerodrome in NY Raw: Rescuers at Taiwan Explosion Scene Raw: Woman Who Faced Death Over Faith in N.H. Clinton Before 9-11: Could Have Killed Bin Laden Netanyahu Vows to Destroy Hamas Tunnels Obama Slams Republicans Over Lawsuit House Leaders Trade Blame for Inaction Malaysian PM: Stop Fighting in Ukraine Cantor Warns of Instability, Terror in Farewell Ravens' Ray Rice: 'I Made a Huge Mistake' Florida Panther Rebound Upsets Ranchers Small Plane Crash in San Diego Parking Lot Busy Franco's Not Afraid of Overexposure Fighting Blocks Access to Ukraine Crash Site Dangerous Bacteria Kills One in Florida Workers Dig for Survivors After India Landslide Texas Scientists Study Ebola Virus Smartphone Powered Paper Plane Debuts at Airshow Southern Accent Reduction Class Cancelled in TN
Seasonal Content
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide
AP Video
Couple Channel Grief Into Soldiers' Retreat WWI Aviation Still Alive at Aerodrome in NY Raw: Rescuers at Taiwan Explosion Scene Raw: Woman Who Faced Death Over Faith in N.H. Clinton Before 9-11: Could Have Killed Bin Laden Netanyahu Vows to Destroy Hamas Tunnels Obama Slams Republicans Over Lawsuit House Leaders Trade Blame for Inaction Malaysian PM: Stop Fighting in Ukraine Cantor Warns of Instability, Terror in Farewell Ravens' Ray Rice: 'I Made a Huge Mistake' Florida Panther Rebound Upsets Ranchers Small Plane Crash in San Diego Parking Lot Busy Franco's Not Afraid of Overexposure Fighting Blocks Access to Ukraine Crash Site Dangerous Bacteria Kills One in Florida Workers Dig for Survivors After India Landslide Texas Scientists Study Ebola Virus Smartphone Powered Paper Plane Debuts at Airshow Southern Accent Reduction Class Cancelled in TN
Seasonal Content
Helium debate
Helium
Section Teases

Seasonal Content
Parade
Magazine

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.