The Rolston era is upon us.

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

Sabres fire coach Ruff

Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald

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 last quote as Sabres coach, a response to a question about winning with the team’s current lineup, sounds ominous.

“If we’re going to be like this, it isn’t working the way we’re going,” Ruff said. “I think the indication today is we’re going to have to try some things, and that’s what we’re talking about.”

Tuesday’s awful effort in a wretched 2-1 home loss to Winnipeg, a game in which fans booed throughout, sealed his fate.

“I understand it,” Ruff said Tuesday night about the booing. “I totally understand it. I’m embarrassed. I totally understand it.”

Despite the Sabres’ struggles, it appeared Ruff would stay put. He’s tight with Darcy Regier, the only general manager he’s ever coached beside. Owner Terry Pegula has pledged his support, too. Ruff also has time left on a contract he signed two years ago.

But a $65 million payroll and a laughingstock status was apparently too much for the Sabres’ brass.

It’s unknown who the Sabres might turn to. Top assistant coach James Patrick is respected throughout the NHL. So is Kevyn Adams, the team’s youngest assistant. Both enjoyed long playing careers, too.

Check back later for much more.

13 comments
  1. Mark I says: 02.20.139:51 pm

    I hope we go after Patrick Roy!

  2. Adam Bennett says: 02.20.139:51 pm

    Bill Hoppe for head coach.

  3. Alex says: 02.20.139:52 pm

    After no-goal, the side of the net goal, Kasparitis, Hasek butting his way out of Buffalo, the injuries in 2006, losing Briere and Drury, having Gomez run Miller, and having Boychuk injure Vanek, I have to wonder if the sheer number of bad luck things that weren’t his fault just crushed him eventually, or at least muddied his abilities.

  4. DJ Hromowyk says: 02.20.139:52 pm

    Hire Patrick Roy.

  5. JT says: 02.20.139:53 pm

    It was overdue. Should’ve happened a couple years atom along with the GM. I want a new GM brought in to hire a new coach from outside of the organization. There are plenty of good NHL assistants and AHL coaches out there.

  6. Debbe Taylor says: 02.20.139:53 pm

    2011-2012 Calder Cup Winning Coach Cooper

  7. Andrew says: 02.20.139:55 pm

    I think the next head coach for the sabres should be wither Ted Nolan or Phil Housley.

  8. Jordan says: 02.20.139:57 pm

    Patrick/Rolston for interim.

    Eakins for the long run starting next season.

  9. James says: 02.20.139:58 pm

    honestly I’m hoping for a new GM to go too. For that position i would go Dudley or BriseBois. As far as the coach I like the idea of Dallas Eakins, I saw his style during the all star game and liked the pace. Craig Ramsey is an interesting choice to as i don’t think he got a fair chance in atlanta. My final suggestion would be john Cooper of the syracuse Crunch. Yzerman hired him to watch over Tampa’s kids, and he lead them to a calder cup last season.

  10. Emily Cudney says: 02.20.139:59 pm

    why would they even fire Lindy in the first place? The bad plays and games have nothing to do with him, its the players who need to step up and win they have been the ones not doing good, not Lindy. He has no control over how the players do, only the players themselves can accomplish their wins. But clearly Regier is blind and cant see that, yeah we need change but its not the coaching, its the players. I love my team but this is such a disapointment. Lindy Ruff is the best coach ever, no one will ever compare.

  11. John says: 02.20.1310:03 pm

    Patrick Roy after the season. For now James Patrick interim.

  12. AAN says: 02.20.1310:08 pm

    Darcy Regier SHOULD NOT hire the next head coach (except on an interim basis). Get a new set of eyes to assess this organization NOW!

  13. Declan says: 02.21.1312:13 am

    Randy Cunneyworth — local, loyal and he could stick it to the Canadiens’ fans.

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