- Seattle socialist: Minimum-wage discussion skewed by ‘right-wing’ GAO analysis
- U.N. warns of Muslim ‘cleansing’ in Central African Republic
- Senate blocks change to military sex assault cases
- Drug mix may have cured child born with HIV, doctors say
- De Blasio’s wife irks former mansion chef with ‘servant’ remark
- Russia’s neighbors shiver amid Putin’s Cold War moves in Ukraine
- New SAT: The essay portion is to become optional
- Military group can’t march to honor the fallen at Boston Marathon due to security changes
- Senate passes bills deleting ‘retarded’ from laws
- China announces biggest military hike in 3 years: We are not ‘boy scouts with spears’
Sabres fire Ruff; name Rolston as interim coach
BUFFALO, N.Y. (AP) - Ron Rolston will finish out the season as the Buffalo Sabres interim coach, taking over hours after Lindy Ruff was fired Wednesday amid growing criticism for the team’s slow start.
Rolston was in his second season as coach of AHL Rochester, the Sabres‘ minor-league affiliate. And he has long-tenured shoes to fill in replacing Ruff, who became the franchise’s winningest coach over 16 seasons.
The change comes a day after the Sabres were booed off the ice during a 2-1 loss to Winnipeg, and after Ruff had finished overseeing a 90-minute practice in preparation for Buffalo’s game at Toronto on Thursday.
The Sabres (6-10-1) have gone 4-10-1 since opening the season winning their first two games.
Rolston was scheduled to arrive in Buffalo on Wednesday evening and then join Regier in traveling to Toronto for his first meeting with the team. Regier said he’ll use the remainder of the season to determine whether Rolston deserves taking over the job on a full-time basis.
Before being hired by the Rochester Americans, Rolston spent seven seasons as coach of USA Hockey’s National Team development program. During that time, he became the first coach to lead the U.S. Under-18 team to win three gold medals (2005, 2009, 2011).
Rolston is also familiar with numerous Sabres, including center Cody Hodgson and forward Marcus Foligno. He spent the first half of this season coaching both, as they played in Rochester during the NHL lockout.
Ruff finished with a 571-432-162 record, and was also the active leader among NHL coaches with the same team.
The news of his firing came as a surprise only because Sabres management, including team president Ted Black, had spent much of the past week voicing its support of Ruff. Team owner Terry Pegula was also regarded as a big fan of Ruff.
Pegula, however, was running out of options in his bid to turn the Sabres into a Stanley Cup contender, an objective he made clear upon purchasing the team two years ago. Ruff’s firing comes nearly two years to the day Pegula formally took over as the Sabres owner on Feb. 22, 2011.
“The hockey world knows how I and the entire Buffalo Sabres organization feel about Lindy Ruff not only as a coach but also as a person,” Pegula said in a statement released by the team. “His qualities have made this decision very difficult. I personally want Lindy to know that he can consider me a friend always.”
On Wednesday, he abruptly cut short his availability with reporters by hinting that changes were coming because “it isn’t working the way we’re going.” He didn’t specify what those changes might be.
By Tammy Bruce
- Bill Clinton cashes in on struggling nonprofit hospital
- Putin has transformed Russian army into a lean, mean fighting machine
- Aronofsky's 'Noah' banned in Qatar, Bahrain, United Arab Emirates
- Christine O'Donnell eager to re-engage in political debate
- Kim Jong-un calls for execution of 33 Christians
- Bill Clinton poses for photo with Bunny Ranch prostitutes
- DELAY: A revolution for the Constitution
- PRUDEN: Likening Putin to Hitler on Ukraine shows Hillary's shaky grasp of history
- Back to the Future: HUVr Tech marketing video goes viral with hoverboard release tease
- Russias Putin nominated for Nobel Peace Prize
Pope Francis meets his 'mini-me'
Celebrity deaths in 2014
Winter storm hits states — again