Darcy Regier announced this afternoon that Lindy Ruff has been relieved of his duties as head coach of the Buffalo Sabres. More to follow.
— Buffalo Sabres (@BuffaloSabres) February 20, 2013
Ruff had been the head coach of the Sabres since 1997, with a career record of 571-432-84 and 78 ties. He also played for the Sabres from 1979-1989.
The move comes after a 2-1 loss to the Winnipeg Jets that left fans, players and even coaches sounding fed up with the way the team has played this season. The Sabres are now 6-10-1, last in the Northeast division and 13th in the Eastern Conference.
After weeks of speculation on Ruff’s future, the only speculation that remains will be Ruff’s replacement. A few options include Sabres assistant coaches James Patrick or Kevyn Adams, Rochester Americans head coach Ron Rolston and former NHL goaltender Patrick Roy. Roy was the coach of Sabres rookie Mikhail Grigorenko in the Québec Junior League.
Other speculation will be if Sabres general manager Darcy Regier will be with the team much longer. Regier, of course, will be responsible for Ruff’s replacement. His job security may be determined if the coaching change results in a playoff appearance.
The Sabres also waived forward Cody McCormick Wednesday. The move clears up a roster spot that would allow a player to to be called up from Rochester. If McCormick clears waivers, he would be another veteran addition to the Amerks. The Sabres waived Matt Ellis and Adam Pardy this season, and both ended up in Rochester.
The Sabres will look much different by the time they take the ice in Toronto on Thursday night.