Score Strip

  1. League: NHL
  2. Boston vs. Detroit
    Live
    End OT
    2 1 BOS
    2 4 DET
  3. Colorado vs. Minnesota
    Live
    1:59 2nd
    1 1 COL
    2 4 MIN
  4. San Jose vs. Los Angeles
    Live
    5:15 1st
    0 2 SJ
    1 3 LA
  5. View All

Sabres fire Lindy Ruff, name Ron Rolston interim coach

CBC

Lindy Ruff was let go Wednesday by the Buffalo Sabres, as the team's poor start has them threatening to miss the playoffs for the fourth time in the last six seasons.

The Sabres then promoted Ron Rolston from the AHL's Rochester Americans as the interim coach.

General manager Darcy Regier said discussions to remove Ruff of his duties began earlier Wednesday. He then went to Ruff's home to inform the coach of the decision. Ruff was allowed to visit with players as they boarded a bus to travel to Toronto for a game on Thursday night.

Buffalo hired Ruff in 1997 after he had served as an assistant with Florida. Including his time as a Sabres player in the 1980s, Ruff has been associated with the club for about 25 years.

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.

After winning their first two games in January, Buffalo has plummeted down the East standings. A home loss Tuesday to the Winnipeg Jets dropped the club to 6-10-1. In the NHL alone, there had been 170 coaching changes since Ruff was hired on July 21, 1997.

Ruff said after the uninspired effort against the Jets that the team would have to review every aspect of its play.

"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," Regier said during a news conference. "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."

Rolston, who will guide the Sabres for the rest of the season, was in his second season as coach of Americans, Buffalo's minor-league affiliate. Rolston was set to arrive in Buffalo on Wednesday evening, and then join Regier in travelling to Toronto for his first meeting with the players. Regier said he'll use the remainder of the season to determine whether Rolston deserves taking over the job on a full-time basis.

Prior to his time with the Americans, Rolston was coach of Team USA's National Team development program for seven seasons, leading three Under-18 teams to gold medals (2005, 2009, 2011). Rolston also spent time with centre Cody Hodgson and forward Marcus Foligno in the first half of this season in Rochester during the NHL lockout.

Rolston went 36-26-10-4 last season in leading Rochester to the playoffs. The Americans (27-18-2-1) are in second in the North Division and sixth in the Western Conference this season.

"His teams play with structure, discipline. They have a work ethic," Regier said, of Rolston. "He has them playing very good hockey, so I think you'll see some of those traits."

The Sabres have featured a top-heavy offence this season, with Thomas Vanek, Jason Pominville, Cody Hodgson and Tyler Ennis accounting for the bulk of their scoring. Drew Stafford, who scored 51 over the previous two seasons, has just one goal, while veteran Jochen Hecht has yet to find the back of the net.

Top goalie Ryan Miller has been inconsistent, while once again, Ruff has been unable to get any extra points from the backup netminder. It has been a common theme in recent years, with Jhonas Enroth following Patrick Lalime and Joceyln Thibault in that regard.

The poor start follows a 2011-12 campaign in which the Sabres couldn't make the playoffs despite a strong second half. Despite some high-priced signings of homegrown players like Vanek and Tyler Myers, as well as free agents Christian Ehrhoff and Ville Leino, the Sabres missed the playoffs for the third time in five seasons.

Myers, who earns $12 million US this season (at a $5.5 million cap hit), has been a healthy scratch on two ocassions earlier this month and has a minus-7 rating in 15 games.

"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."

Ruff succeeded Ted Nolan as coach in 1997.

Ruff led the Sabres to the Stanley Cup final in 1999, where they lost to Dallas in six games. Buffalo reached the Eastern Conference final stage on four occasions overall, but not since 2007.

He compiled a 571-432-162 record overall with the Sabres.

"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," Sabres owner Terry 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."

Ruff also coached Canada at the world championship in 2009, where they won a silver medal, and was part of Mike Babcock's staff for the gold medal team in Vancouver at the 2010 Olympics.

The move on Wednesday leaves Barry Trotz of Nashville as the NHL coach with the longest tenure at his current club.

View Comments
  • Soderberg sets up Lucic in front of the net

    Soderberg sets up Lucic in front of the net

    Boston Bruins forward Carl Soderberg sends a quick centering pass to Milan Lucic who buries his shot past Detroit Red Wings goalie Jonas Gustavsson. … More »

    NHL Highlights - 6 minutes ago
  • Buffalo Bills cheerleaders stop appearances after lawsuit over pay, work conditions

    Buffalo Bills cheerleaders stop appearances after lawsuit over pay, work conditions

    BUFFALO, N.Y. - Pack up the pom-poms in Buffalo, because the Bills will be playing without the support of their official cheerleaders this year. Stephanie Mateczun, whose company manages the Buffalo Jills cheerleading squad, said Thursday she has … More »

    The Canadian Press - 7 minutes ago
  • Phelps loses to Lochte in 100 butterfly final at comeback meet in Arizona

    Phelps loses to Lochte in 100 butterfly final at comeback meet in Arizona

    MESA, Ariz. - Michael Phelps is 0 for 1 in his comeback to the pool. The 22-time Olympic medallist lost to Ryan Lochte in the 100-meter butterfly final at the Arena Grand Prix on Thursday night. … More »

    The Canadian Press - 7 minutes ago
  • Trip Tips: Brazil's beachless metropolis is a foodie's paradise

    By Todd Benson SAO PAULO (Reuters) - If your idea of Brazil is beaches and bikinis, São Paulo is not the place to go. But if you're a seasoned traveler who tends to shun traditional tourism hot spots for urban adventures off the beaten trail, then … More »

    Reuters - 9 minutes ago
  • Icher impresses in cold Day 1 at Swinging Skirts

    Icher impresses in cold Day 1 at Swinging Skirts

    Karine Icher of France birdied four of her first seven holes and finished with a 6-under 66 on Thursday to take the lead in the inaugural Swinging Skirts LPGA Classic. The start was delayed two hours because of fog and play was suspended because of … More »

    AP - Sports - 11 minutes ago
  • Curry to Lee

    Curry to Lee

    Stephen Curry crosses up Chris Paul and whips a pass across the lane to David Lee for the dunk. … More »

    NBA.com - 12 minutes ago
  • Jeff Teague hits ridiculous (and controversial) running-out-of-bounds 3 as Hawks beat Pacers for 2-1 lead (Video)
  • Moyes left all at sea by scale of United job, says former coach

    Moyes left all at sea by scale of United job, says former coach

    (Reuters) - David Moyes lost his job as Manchester United manager because he ignored advice and failed to appreciate the scale of the job, said Rene Meulensteen, a former coach at the Premier League club. Moyes was sacked on Tuesday after a … More »

    Reuters - 14 minutes ago
  • Conley on the Break

    Conley on the Break

    Zach Randolph picks up the loose ball and hits Mike Conley on the break for the layup. … More »

    NBA.com - 15 minutes ago
  • World sports diary April 26 - May 3

    April 25 (Reuters) - World sports diary from April 26 - May 3 - - - - SATURDAY, APRIL 26 SOCCER Premier League (1400 unless stated) Southampton v Everton (1145) Fulham v Hull City Stoke City v Tottenham Hotspur Swansea City v Aston Villa West … More »

    Reuters - 17 minutes ago
  • Hawks take 2-1 lead on top-seeded Pacers

    Hawks take 2-1 lead on top-seeded Pacers

    As the final seconds ticked off the clock, the Atlanta Hawks celebrated and their fans serenaded the Indiana Pacers with chants of ''Overrated!'' Game 3 did nothing to change that perception. The top-seeded Pacers are on the ropes again at the hands … More »

    AP - Sports - 17 minutes ago
  • Teague scores 22, Korver 20 to lead Hawks past top-seeded Pacers 98-85 for 2-1 lead in series

    Teague scores 22, Korver 20 to lead Hawks past top-seeded Pacers 98-85 for 2-1 lead in series

    ATLANTA - As the final seconds ticked off the clock, the Atlanta Hawks celebrated and their fans serenaded the Indiana Pacers with chants of "Overrated!" The top-seeded Pacers are on the ropes again at the hands of the eighth-seeded Hawks, who … More »

    The Canadian Press - 17 minutes ago
  • Postgame: Mike Budenholzer

    Postgame: Mike Budenholzer

    Hawks coach Mike Budenholzer addresses the media following Atlanta's Game 3 win over the Pacers. … More »

    NBA.com - 25 minutes ago
  • Postgame: Frank Vogel

    Postgame: Frank Vogel

    Frank Vogel talks to the media following the Game 3 loss to the Hawks. … More »

    NBA.com - 27 minutes ago
  • No Bills cheerleaders in 2014 after suit

    No Bills cheerleaders in 2014 after suit

    Pack up the pom-poms in Buffalo, because the Bills will be playing without the support of their official cheerleaders this year. Stephanie Mateczun, whose company manages the Buffalo Jills cheerleading squad, said Thursday she has suspended … More »

    AP - Sports - 29 minutes ago
  • Durant Jams

    Durant Jams

    Kevin Durant drives and finishes with the right-handed slam. … More »

    NBA.com - 30 minutes ago
  • Phelps loses to Lochte in comeback meet

    Phelps loses to Lochte in comeback meet

    Michael Phelps is 0 for 1 in his comeback to the pool. The 22-time Olympic medalist lost to Ryan Lochte in the 100-meter butterfly final at the Arena Grand Prix on Thursday night. Phelps was second in 52.13 in his first meet since retiring after … More »

    AP - Sports - 34 minutes ago
  • Westbrook's Amazing Three

    Westbrook's Amazing Three

    Russell Westbrook gets fouled and buries an amazing 3-pointer during the 4th quarter. … More »

    NBA.com - 34 minutes ago
  • Michael Phelps beaten in first comeback final

    Michael Phelps beaten in first comeback final

    By Julian Linden PHOENIX (Reuters) - Michael Phelps suffered a narrow loss to old rival Ryan Lochte in his comeback to competitive swimming on Thursday, but still showed enough to suggest he will be a force to be reckoned with. Racing for the … More »

    Reuters - 35 minutes ago
  • Westbrook's Big Three

    Westbrook's Big Three

    Russell Westbrook draws the foul and sinks an incredible three-pointer. … More »

    NBA.com - 36 minutes ago
  • Lolo's track transition continues at Drake Relays

    Lolo's track transition continues at Drake Relays

    Lolo Jones will continue her quick transition from bobsled to track this weekend with a hometown advantage. Jones will compete Friday at the Drake Relays in her native Des Moines, just two months removed from an 11th-place finish as a brakeman for … More »

    AP - Sports - 37 minutes ago
  • Everest climbing season in disarray as climbing teams cancel and more Sherpas leave base camp

    Everest climbing season in disarray as climbing teams cancel and more Sherpas leave base camp

    KATMANDU, Nepal - Nepal's attempts to salvage the Mount Everest climbing season took another hit Friday as more Sherpa mountain guides packed and left the base camp for their village homes a week after the deadliest disaster on the world's highest … More »

    The Canadian Press - 37 minutes ago
  • Senna had so much to offer, says sister

    Senna had so much to offer, says sister

    By Andrew Downie SAO PAULO (Reuters) - For Brazilians of a certain generation, the death of Ayrton Senna is not unlike September 11 or the assassination of John F. Kennedy. "It’s funny, it doesn’t seem like it was 20 years ago," hissister Viviane … More »

    Reuters - 40 minutes ago
  • Reds' Simon accused of sexual assault

    Reds' Simon accused of sexual assault

    A woman who said Cincinnati Reds pitcher Alfredo Simon sexually assaulted her in a Washington hotel a year ago when the team was in town to play the Nationals is suing the player for $15 million. The woman, identified as Jane Doe, filed the civil … More »

    AP - Sports - 42 minutes ago
  • Everest climbing season in disarray after deaths

    Nepal's attempts to salvage the Mount Everest climbing season took another hit Friday as more Sherpa mountain guides packed and left the base camp for their village homes a week after the deadliest disaster on the world's highest mountain. Their … More »

    AP - Sports - 44 minutes ago
  • Udrih Spins and Hits

    Udrih Spins and Hits

    Beno Udrih spins off his defender to the rack and finishes with a layup. … More »

    NBA.com - 46 minutes ago
  • Cruz extends RBI streak, Orioles win

    Cruz extends RBI streak, Orioles win

    TORONTO (AP) -- Chris Davis had two hits and three RBIs, Jonathan Schoop homered and the Baltimore Orioles beat the Toronto Blue Jays 11-4 on Thursday night. … More »

    AP - Sports - 58 minutes ago
  • Pacers vs. Hawks: Game 3

    Pacers vs. Hawks: Game 3

    Jeff Teague scores 22 points and dishes out 10 assists as the Hawks knock off the Pacers in Game 3. … More »

    NBA.com - 59 minutes ago
  • Phelps beaten in first comeback final

    Phelps beaten in first comeback final

    By Julian Linden PHOENIX (Reuters) - Michael Phelps suffered a narrow loss to old rival Ryan Lochte in his comeback to competitive swimming on Thursday, but still showed enough to suggest he will be a force to be reckoned with. Racing for the … More »

    Reuters - 1 hour 5 minutes ago
  • Martin shoots course record 62, leads by two in New Orleans

    (Reuters) - Ben Martin fired a course record 10-under-par 62 to take a two-stroke lead in the opening round of the $6.8 million Zurich Classic of New Orleans on Thursday. Martin made light of gusting afternoon winds to reel off 10 birdies, capped … More »

    Reuters - 1 hour 7 minutes ago
  • Toronto Blue Jays fall back to .500 mark after 11-4 loss to Baltimore Orioles

    TORONTO - The Toronto Blue Jays wasted a quality start by Drew Hutchison and fell back to the .500 mark by dropping an 11-4 decision to the Baltimore Orioles on Thursday night at Rogers Centre. Hutchison worked six solid innings and left the game … More »

    The Canadian Press - 1 hour 7 minutes ago
  • Conley's High Scoop Shot

    Conley's High Scoop Shot

    Mike Conley drives to the basket and sinks an amazing shot. … More »

    NBA.com - 1 hour 15 minutes ago
  • Prince Down the Lane

    Prince Down the Lane

    Tayshaun Prince drives the lane for the finger-roll finish. … More »

    NBA.com - 1 hour 17 minutes ago
  • Swimming-Phelps beaten in first comeback final

    * Phelps narrowly beaten by Lochte in comeback race * Still satisfied with return despite loss * Qualifies for national titles later this year (Updates after final) By Julian Linden PHOENIX, April 24 (Reuters) - Michael Phelps suffered a narrow … More »

    Reuters - 1 hour 19 minutes ago
  • Golf-Martin shoots course record 62, leads by two in New Orleans

    Ben Martin fired a course record 10-under-par 62 to take a two-stroke lead in the opening round of the $6.8 million Zurich Classic of New Orleans on Thursday. Martin made light of gusting afternoon winds to reel off 10 birdies, capped off by a … More »

    Reuters - 1 hour 24 minutes ago
  • Blatter wants to revive 6+5 proposal

    Blatter wants to revive 6+5 proposal

    FIFA president Sepp Blatter wants to revive his so-called 6+5 proposal which would force clubs to field at least six players from their own country. The idea won the backing of the FIFA Congress in 2008 but was ditched after it fell foul of … More »

    Reuters - 1 hour 28 minutes ago
  • Fresno St. finalizes DeRuyter extension

    FRESNO, Calif. (AP) -- Fresno State coach Tim DeRuyter has signed a contract extension that runs through 2018 worth at least $7.5 million. … More »

    AP - Sports - 1 hour 28 minutes ago
  • The day Senna grabbed F1's attention

    The day Senna grabbed F1's attention

    By Alan Baldwin LONDON (Reuters) - While Formula One remembers Ayrton Senna on the 20th anniversary of his death at Imola, happier memories of another race 10 years earlier highlight just why the great Brazilian is still so sorely missed. The 1984 … More »

    Reuters - 1 hour 31 minutes ago
  • Senna's simple grave a magnet for fans 20 years on

    Senna's simple grave a magnet for fans 20 years on

    By Andrew Downie SAO PAULO (Reuters) - Ayrton Senna is as discreet in death as he was lively in life. The last resting place of Brazil's most charismatic Formula One champion is marked by a brass plaque on a circular lawn, surrounded by almost … More »

    Reuters - 1 hour 34 minutes ago
  • Ayrton Senna's Formula One career

    Ayrton Senna's Formula One career

    (Reuters) - May 1 marks the 20th anniversary of the death of Brazil's triple Formula One champion Ayrton Senna in the San Marino Grand Prix at Italy's Imola circuit. The following details the main points of his career: - - - - * Born Ayrton Senna … More »

    Reuters - 1 hour 35 minutes ago