It's always sad when any professional sports team says goodbye to someone who has been synonymous with their organization for years. Never has that been more true than with Lindy Ruff's departure as head coach of the Buffalo Sabres. So how will fans of the blue and gold, and hockey fans in general, look back at his career behind the bench in Western New York?
Most will remember it fondly. With Ruff at the helm, Buffalo enjoyed success this city and team had not seen since the mid-70s.
The franchise itself became crucial to the overall success of the NHL. It proved that hockey could thrive in a small market and it eventually took over what had always been a football town.
Lindy embodied all the things the people of this area pride themselves on: hard work, determination and a genuine passion for his profession.
Ahead, we're going to take a look back at four different stages of Ruff's coaching career in Buffalo. While some were more successful than others, his longevity with one team must be appreciated.