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

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

Lindy Ruff postponed a scheduled off day Wednesday. ©2013, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Last-place Sabres trying to dig out of early-season hole

BUFFALO – Everything’s becoming ugly very quickly for the reeling Sabres, whose season is already on the brink of collapsing after losing three straight contests and seven of the last eight.

Three wins and seven points through 10 games have them mired in last place in the Northeast Division and 14th in the Eastern Conference following Tuesday’s 4-3 defeat in Ottawa, a game they nearly roared back and tied.

Incredibly, depending how some other ... Read the full article

Pressure will only mount on Lindy Ruff if the Sabres keep losing. ©2013, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Reeling Sabres searching for answers on ‘off day’

BUFFALO – The stumblebum Sabres have lost three straight contests and seven of eight. Tens tilts into the 48-game schedule, they have only three wins and seven points. They’re last in the Northeast Division and 14th in the Eastern Conference after falling 4-3 on Tuesday in Ottawa following a late rally.

After missing the playoffs last season and starting this campaign so wretchedly, should the Sabres be concerned changes are coming among the player ... Read the full article

Darcy Regier has owner Terry Pegula's support. ©2013, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Sabres GM Regier receives extension; Pegula apologizes for lockout

BUFFALO – To his supporters, Darcy Regier’s a victim. Poor ownership handcuffed the general manager multiple times. Look at the Sabres teams he built, they say. The 1998-99 club came within two games of the Stanley Cup. Two dynamic post-lockout teams also nearly won it all.

If he had been given more tools or just some help re-signing his own talent, who knows how far the Sabres could’ve gone?

Regier’s detractors believe he should’ve been ... Read the full article

Ville Leino's questionable for this afternoon's season opener. ©2013, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Sabres’ Leino questionable for opener; Grigorenko set for debut

BUFFALO – The Sabres have their first injury of the lockout-shortened 2012-13 season.

“A nagging little” problem that flared up kept Ville Leino from practicing Saturday, coach Lindy Ruff said.

The winger’s questionable for this afternoon’s season opener against the Philadelphia Flyers inside the First Niagara Center.

Leino, who left practice early Friday, plans to skate this morning before making a decision. It’s believed he’s nursing a leg injury.

“If he feels like he’s good, ... Read the full article

Darcy Regier has been the Sabres' general manager since 1997. ©2013, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Sabres extend GM Regier

BUFFALO – Darcy Regier isn’t going anywhere.

Sabres owner Terry Pegula announced a contract extension for his general manager this afternoon during a news conference on the eve of the season opener. No details were provided.

Regier, the team’s general manager since 1997, last signed an extension in the fall of 2010.

“I am very grateful and honored to be able to continue in this capacity working with this ownership,” Regier said inside the Lexus ... Read the full article