Lockport Union-Sun & Journal Online

Sports

February 21, 2013

Ruff & Tumble

The Sabres fire head coach Lindy Ruff

BUFFALO —  

Ron Rolston will finish out the season as the Buffalo Sabres interim coach, taking over hours after Lindy Ruff was fired Wednesday amid growing criticism for the team’s slow start.
Rolston was in his second season as coach of AHL Rochester, the Sabres’ minor-league affiliate. And he has long-tenured shoes to fill in replacing Ruff, who became the franchise’s winningest coach over 16 seasons.
The change comes a day after the Sabres were booed off the ice during a 2-1 loss to Winnipeg, and after Ruff had finished overseeing a 90-minute practice in preparation for Buffalo’s game at Toronto tonight.
General manager Darcy Regier called the team’s lethargic performance during the loss to the Jets as “a tipping point.” And he added that discussions to fire Ruff had begun earlier in the day.
The Sabres (6-10-1) have gone 4-10-1 since opening the season winning their first two games.
Regier went to Ruff’s home to inform the coach of the decision. He then allowed Ruff to visit with players as they boarded a bus to travel to Toronto.
Rolston was scheduled to arrive in Buffalo on Wednesday evening and then join Regier in traveling to Toronto for his first meeting with the team. Regier said he’ll use the remainder of the season to determine whether Rolston deserves taking over the job on a full-time basis.
Before being hired by the Rochester Americans, Rolston spent seven seasons as coach of USA Hockey’s National Team development program. During that time, he became the first coach to lead the U.S. Under-18 team to win three gold medals (2005, 2009, 2011).
Rolston is also familiar with numerous Sabres, including center Cody Hodgson and forward Marcus Foligno. He spent the first half of this season coaching both, as they played in Rochester during the NHL lockout.

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