The move was made hours after Ruff was fired amid growing criticism for the team’s early season struggles.
And it came less than a week after Ruff had defiantly said he wasn’t done trying to “clean up this mess.”
It was a game in which the Sabres were booed several times for their turnover-filled and inconsistent effort.
“I think the last game was quite honestly a tipping point. And it was evident to me that we were searching for answers to too many questions,” general manger Darcy Regier said. “I think we were making some strides, but in the end, for every two steps forward, it was one step back, and sometimes not that.”
Among North America’s four major pro sports, Ruff’s tenure was second only behind Gregg Popovich, who’s been coach of the NBA’s San Antonio Spurs since 1996.
“I’m disappointed for myself. I’m disappointed for Lindy. And when I see the players, I’m disappointed for them, too.” Regier said. “We should all be disappointed. As far as anger, we have too much work to do.”
The decision to fire Ruff came shortly after he oversaw a 90-minute practice and was preparing to travel with the team for Thursday’s game at Toronto.
Rolston is in his second season with the Rochester Americans. He was scheduled to arrive in Buffalo on Wednesday evening and then join Regier in traveling to Toronto for his first meeting with Sabres players.