After a tumultuous 6-10-1 start to their season, the Buffalo Sabres have fired head coach Lindy Ruff. The move comes as a bit of surprise but a justifiable one as the Sabres have been in the dumps as of late and it appears as though the team was starting to become divided with goalie Ryan Miller stating yesterday that he believes the teams is playing at a level that deserves to be booed by the fans who pay to see them.
Before his firing today, Ruff was the second-longest tenured head coach in North American professional sports, as only San Antonio Spurs head coach Gregg Popovich has been in his current job longer than Ruff had been. The last time the Sabres had a head coach other than Ruff has back in 1996 as Ruff was hired in 1997 and has held the position until today.
Two years after being hired by the Sabres, Ruff led the team to the 1999 Stanley Cup Finals and had a career record of 562-452-84 along with 78 ties.
Sabres General manager Darcy Regier announced the firing today but has not yet made an indication as to who will eventually replace Ruff in the long term. As of now, no interim head coach has yet been named but one is expected to be named in time for the Sabres game against the Toronto Maple Leafs on Thursday.