Sabres Hire Lindy Ruff: A Nostalgic Future Move

The Buffalo Sabres are rehiring Lindy Ruff, their most successful coach who has a history of adapting to different team strengths and leading them to significant achievements, raising expectations for the team’s future performance with its current roster.

Oh, the Buffalo Sabres are really throwing it back, bringing Lindy Ruff back into the fold as their coach. If there’s anyone who embodies the spirit of the “Mr. Buffalo Sabre,” it’s definitely Ruff. This guy? He’s not new to the game. Spent a solid decade playing for the Sabres in the ’80s, and that was just part of his 13-season NHL stint. And coaching? He’s been there, done that with Buffalo from 1997 to 2013. Yep, Ruff was the man calling the shots the last time the Sabres were in the playoffs, back in 2010-11.

Since they let Ruff go, the Sabres have gone through seven different coaches. And Ruff? At 64, he’s still the coach with the most wins in the team’s history. He’s the guy who took them to the Eastern Conference Final three times, not to mention that heart-wrenching trip to the Stanley Cup Final.

Ruff’s coaching style? It’s kind of a throwback—tough, old school, demanding. But don’t get it twisted; he’s got a knack for working magic with young talent and adapting to whatever roster he’s handed. After his time with the Sabres, he took his talents to Dallas, coaching the Stars from 2013-14 to 2016-17. Then, he was with the New Jersey Devils from 2020-21 until they let him go partway through this past season. Last season, the Devils, under Ruff’s guidance, were nothing short of impressive. They racked up 112 points and made it to the second round of the playoffs, showcasing a young, fast, and offensively gifted team—a stark contrast to Ruff’s late ’90s Sabre squads that leaned heavily on legendary goalie Dominik Hašek and a rock-solid defense.

In Dallas, Ruff’s teams were scoring machines, topping the league’s goal charts in two of his four seasons there. Now, back with Buffalo, it’s anyone’s guess how he’ll leverage the current roster. This lineup’s got some serious potential, with young defensive stars like Rasmus Dahlin and Owen Power, the powerhouse Tage Thompson, and the seasoned scorer Jeff Skinner. Let’s just say, the rest of the Atlantic Division is probably a bit uneasy about what’s coming their way.

Alex Thompson
Alex Thompson
Alex Thompson is a Senior Writer for HockeyMonitor. With a background in Sports Media, Alex joined the team in 2022. He focuses on providing the latest hockey news, game scores, and fresh NHL trade rumors.

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