Lindy Ruff began coaching the Sabres in 1997. ©2013, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Sabres’ regression ultimately doomed Ruff

BUFFALO – Darcy Regier walked in looking shaken. The Sabres general manager broke down a couple times while discussing the difficult decision to fire his close friend Lindy Ruff, the NHL’s longest-tenured coach.

Regier and Ruff had been synonymous with each other since 1997, when a rookie GM gave a young coaching prospect his dream job. Together, they experienced all the highs and lows of the NHL, somehow managing to keep their gigs despite limited ... Read the full article

Ron Rolston will make his NHL coaching debut tonight in Toronto. ©2013, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Sabres tab Rolston to replace Ruff on interim basis

BUFFALO – When word began spreading Wednesday the Sabres had fired Lindy Ruff, the hockey world immediately started wondering who would succeed the NHL’s longest-tenured coach.

Would the Sabres hire an unproven young NHL assistant or an AHL coach? Would they try to make a big splash? Or would they simply turn to James Patrick, Ruff’s most-trusted assistant?

The Sabres’ decision to promote Rochester Americans coach Ron Rolston and award him the interim label for ... Read the full article

Lindy Ruff looked glum after Tuesday's embarrassing loss. ©2013, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Regier: Sabres fired Ruff for ‘goal of making the playoffs’

BUFFALO – This afternoon, Sabres general manager Darcy Regier drove to Lindy Ruff’s home in Clarence and relieved the NHL’s longest-tenured coach of his duties, ending a close relationship that dates back to 1997.

Shortly after, Ruff drove to the Northtown Center, boarded the team bus before it left for Toronto and addressed his former players one final time.

Rochester Americans coach Ron Rolston is the new interim coach for the rest of the season. ... Read the full article

Lindy Ruff had coached the Sabres since 1997. ©2013, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Sabres fire coach Ruff

BUFFALO – In a stunning move, the Sabres fired coach Lindy Ruff today, according to the team’s official Twitter account.

Ruff, who led a 90-minute practice today inside the First Niagara Center and spoke with the media afterward, was the longest-tenured NHL coach at 15 seasons.

The 13th-place Sabres have struggled mightily this season, going 4-10-1 since their 2-0 start. They rank last in the Northeast Division, seven points behind fourth-place Ottawa.

Ruff’s ... Read the full article

Teams have until noon Thursday to claim Cody McCormick. ©2013, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Sabres talking about other moves after waiving McCormick

BUFFALO – Naturally, waiving gritty forward Cody McCormick today begs the question: do the struggling Sabres have another move in mind?

“We’ve talked about it,” Sabres coach Lindy Ruff said this afternoon following a 90-minute practice inside the First Niagara Center. “It hasn’t been confirmed yet.”

Does that mean a recall from Rochester or even a trade could be imminent? Stay tuned.

The Rochester Democrat and Chronicle’s Kevin Oklobzija floated the theory McCormick’s roster spot ... Read the full article

Christian Ehrhoff isn't practicing today. ©2013, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Ehrhoff and Ennis missing from practice; McCormick on waivers

BUFFALO – Defenseman Christian Ehrhoff and center Tyler Ennis are missing from Sabres practice this afternoon inside the First Niagara Center. Stay tuned for an update later. Ehrhoff blocked a shot with his chest Sunday.

In addition, forward Cody McCormick, who’s practicing, is on waivers today, according to TSN’s Bob McKenzie.

Fresh off Tuesday’s wretched 2-1 loss to Winnipeg, today could an interesting day.

Here are today’s lines from left to right:

Thomas Vanek, Cody ... Read the full article

Ryan Miller had a beef with linesman Scott Miller on Tuesday. ©2013, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Sabres jeered throughout ugly loss to Jets

BUFFALO – It was ugly. Testy fans kept booing the Sabres as they trudged toward a sluggish, uninspired 2-1 loss to the Winnipeg Jets on Tuesday. They moaned early and often as the Sabres ran around their own zone.

As the final horn signaled the Sabres’ second straight loss and fourth in five games, what remained of the capacity crowd of 19,070 booed them off the ice one more time.

Clearly, the Sabres’ rabid ... Read the full article

T.J. Brennan returned to the lineup Tuesday. ©2013, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Sabres rookie Brennan replaces struggling Leopold

BUFFALO – The gaffe gnawed away at Jordan Leopold. His blown coverage on Pascal Dupuis’ late tying goal a day earlier left the struggling Sabres defenseman “upset … the whole day” Monday, he said.

The 32-year-old, a veteran of 602 NHL games, probably felt even worse Tuesday morning.

For Lindy Ruff, leaving Dupuis wide open in the right circle, something Leopold called an “easy read,” was the last straw. The Sabres coach scratched Leopold for ... Read the full article

Ryan Miller was seething after Sunday's loss. ©2013, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Sabres’ Ruff on Miller’s passion: ‘I think we need more of it’

BUFFALO – Lindy Ruff said this morning he hadn’t read Ryan Miller’s angry comments after the Sabres blew a third-period lead Sunday and lost 4-3 to Pittsburgh.

The coach, however, has heard about how a disgusted Miller cursed three times during his brief chat with the media. He loves the passion his franchise goalie showcased.

“When you start holding yourself accountable inside the room, you’ve almost got your team in the right place,” Ruff said ... Read the full article

Jordan Leopold skates this morning. ©2013, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Struggling Leopold to sit as Sabres turn to rookie Brennan

BUFFALO – Jordan Leopold walked into the dressing room following a long skate this morning, began taking off his equipment and noticed a few reporters waiting to chat with him.

The struggling defenseman was the last player off the ice for a reason.

“You guys smell blood or what?” joked Leopold, who will sit as a healthy scratch tonight against the Winnipeg Jets inside the First Niagara Center.

Leopold, a team-worst minus-7, has never been ... Read the full article