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Born February 17, 1960 (1960-02-17) (age 49),
Warburg, AB, CAN
Height
Weight
6 ft 2 in (1.88 m)
190 lb (86 kg; 13 st 8 lb)
Position Defence
Shoots Left
Pro clubs Buffalo Sabres
New York Rangers
NHL Draft 32nd overall, 1979
Buffalo Sabres
Career 1979 โ€“ 1991

Lindy Cameron Ruff (born February 17, 1960 in Warburg, Alberta) is head coach of the Buffalo Sabres and former defenceman in the National Hockey League.

Contents

Playing career

Ruff was chosen in the second round, 32nd overall of the 1979 NHL Entry Draft. He played for the Buffalo Sabres and New York Rangers. Ruff gained a reputation as a player for his toughness, character and hard work on the ice. An illustration of this came in a May 10, 1980 playoff game against the New York Islanders where opposing goaltender Billy Smith struck Ruff with his stick as he passed in front of his net. Ruff got up, skated back to the goaltender and tackled him.

Ruff played most of his NHL career for the Sabres, serving as captain of the team for nearly three years, but he was traded to the Rangers at the 1989 NHL trade deadline in exchange for a draft pick. The Sabres would use that pick to select Richard Smehlik, who would later play for several years under Ruff.

Ruff played in 691 NHL games, scoring 105 goals and adding 195 assists for an even total of 300 points. He also recorded 1,264 penalty minutes. In 52 playoff games, Ruff recorded 11 goals and 13 assists while accumulating 193 penalty minutes.

Coaching career

He became assistant coach of the Florida Panthers for the 1993โ€“94 NHL season until the 1996โ€“97 NHL season. His most success as an assistant coach was with the 1996 Florida Panthers that made it to the Stanley Cup final, but lost to the Colorado Avalanche.

Ruff was named the 15th head coach of the Buffalo Sabres on July 21, 1997. [1] He had immediate success in Buffalo, advancing to the Eastern Conference Finals in the 1997โ€“98 NHL season. In Ruff's second season as coach, the Sabres reached the 1999 Stanley Cup Finals before finally losing to the Dallas Stars in six games. The following two seasons saw Ruff's Sabres lose in the first round to the Philadelphia Flyers and the second round to the Pittsburgh Penguins respectively. Buffalo missed the playoffs in the three seasons preceding the NHL lockout amidst the teams bankruptcy and financial problems caused by the Adelphia Communications corporate scandal. After the lockout, Ruff lead the Sabres to back-to-back Eastern Conference Finals appearances only to lose to the Carolina Hurricanes in 2006 and the Ottawa Senators in 2007. Ruff is currently the longest-tenured coach in the NHL and was rewarded with a three-year contract extension that has an option for a fourth season. [2]

Ruff is known for being blunt with the media. A well-known example of his bluntness were his comments regarding Toronto Maple Leafs player Darcy Tucker. In his post-game interview following a questionable hit on Jochen Hecht that knocked the Sabres centre out of the lineup for two weeks with a sprained ACL in the 2005โ€“06 season, Ruff said, "I want him [Tucker] suspended." He also said, "I have not called the NHL office all year and I will call them ten times tomorrow." He called Tucker's hit "a definition of a joke." [3]

On April 5, 2006, Ruff became the 31st coach in NHL history to win 300 games, and just the 16th to do it with only one team. Ruff led the Sabres to their most successful regular season ever in 2006โ€“2007, with a 53โ€“22โ€“7 record for a total of 113 points.

Ruff was the winner of the 2005โ€“06 Jack Adams Award for coach of the year in the National Hockey League. Tom Renney of the New York Rangers and Peter Laviolette of the Carolina Hurricanes were also nominated.

Ruff was again nominated for the Jack Adams Award in 2006โ€“07. His nomination was the second time he has been a finalist for coach of the year. Michel Therrien of the Pittsburgh Penguins was also a finalist while Alain Vigneault of the Vancouver Canucks won the honor. Ruff placed 2nd in the voting with 126 points to Vigneault's 134. [4]

In February 2007 Ruff was fined US$10,000 by the NHL after a brawl with the Ottawa Senators. The league said that Ruff precipitated the brawl following a questionable hit on Chris Drury by Chris Neil. [5] Because the hit to Drury did not result in a penalty, Ruff sent out Andrew Peters, Patrick Kaleta, and Adam Mair; the team's "enforcers". What followed was one of the '06-'07 season's most memorable hockey brawls. Adam Mair began the brawl, punching Ottawa's Jason Spezza as soon as the puck was dropped. Andrew Peters tried to start a fight with Dany Heatley, who didn't want to fight. Even the goaltenders got into the fight, with Martin Biron challenging Ray Emery.

After a second round playoff match against the New York Rangers on April 27th, 2007, Ruff would be fined again by the league after harshly criticizing officials for an obvious missed too-many-men call against the Rangers, giving New York a chance to tie the match in the closing minute. [6]

In the 2006โ€“07 season he became the first Sabres coach to lead the team to back-to-back 50 win seasons, boasting the 5th best win percentage in terms of points captured vs. points available from 1979-present for the entire league.

On October 15, 2008, Ruff became the 23rd coach in NHL history to win 400 games, and just the 7th to win 400 games for one team.

Ruff ranks 19th in the history of the NHL with 438 regular season coaching wins. His 52 career playoff wins are tied for 15th place on the all-time list. Among coaches with 40 or more playoff wins, Ruff is in the top 6 in terms of career winning percentage.

Ruff was named as an associate coach for Team Canada for the 2010 Olympics in Vancouver.

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Coaching record

Team Year Regular season Post season
G W L T OTL Pts Finish W L Win % Result
BUF 1997โ€“98 82 36 29 17 - 89 3rd in Northeast 10 5 .667 Conference Finalist
BUF 1998โ€“99 82 37 28 17 - 93 4th in Northeast 14 7 .667 Stanley Cup Finalist
BUF 1999โ€“00 82 35 32 11 4 85 3rd in Northeast 1 4 .200 Conference Quarter-Finalist
BUF 2000โ€“01 82 46 30 5 1 98 2nd in Northeast 7 6 .538 Conference Semi-Finalist
BUF 2001โ€“02 82 35 35 11 1 82 5th in Northeast - - -
BUF 2002โ€“03 82 27 37 10 8 72 5th in Northeast - - -
BUF 2003โ€“04 82 37 34 7 4 85 5th in Northeast - - -
BUF 2005โ€“06 82 52 24 - 6 110 2nd in Northeast 11 7 .611 Conference Finalist
BUF 2006โ€“07 82 53 22 - 7 113 1st in Northeast 9 7 .563 Conference Finalist
BUF 2007โ€“08 82 39 31 - 12 90 4th in Northeast - - -
BUF 2008โ€“09 82 41 32 - 9 91 3rd in Northeast - - -
Total 902 438 334 78 52 1006 52 36 .591

Personal

Ruff's younger brother, Brent Ruff, was one of four teammates killed in a bus crash while playing for the Swift Current Broncos in 1986.

Another younger brother, Marty Ruff, was a first round draft pick of the St. Louis Blues, but never appeared in an NHL game.

An older brother, Randy Ruff, played and coached in junior hockey.

Lindy and his wife Gaye have four children, Brett, Eryn and twins Madeline and Bryan.

Career statistics

    Regular season   Playoffs
Season Team League GP G A Pts PIM GP G A Pts PIM
1976โ€“77 Taber Golden Suns AJHL 60 13 33 46 112 โ€” โ€” โ€” โ€” โ€”
1976โ€“77 Lethbridge Broncos WCHL 2 0 2 2 0 โ€” โ€” โ€” โ€” โ€”
1977โ€“78 Lethbridge Broncos WCHL 66 9 24 33 219 8 2 8 10 4
1978โ€“79 Lethbridge Broncos WHL 24 9 18 27 108 6 0 1 1 0
1979โ€“80 Buffalo Sabres NHL 63 5 14 19 38 8 1 1 2 19
1980โ€“81 Buffalo Sabres NHL 65 8 18 26 121 6 3 1 4 23
1981โ€“82 Buffalo Sabres NHL 79 16 32 48 194 4 0 0 0 28
1982โ€“83 Buffalo Sabres NHL 60 12 17 29 130 10 4 2 6 47
1983โ€“84 Buffalo Sabres NHL 58 14 31 45 101 3 1 0 1 9
1984โ€“85 Buffalo Sabres NHL 39 13 11 24 45 5 2 4 5 15
1985โ€“86 Buffalo Sabres NHL 54 20 12 32 158 โ€” โ€” โ€” โ€” โ€”
1986โ€“87 Buffalo Sabres NHL 50 6 14 20 74 โ€” โ€” โ€” โ€” โ€”
1987โ€“88 Buffalo Sabres NHL 77 2 23 25 179 6 0 2 2 23
1988โ€“89 Buffalo Sabres NHL 63 6 11 17 86 โ€” โ€” โ€” โ€” โ€”
1988โ€“89 New York Rangers NHL 13 0 5 5 31 2 0 0 0 17
1989โ€“90 New York Rangers NHL 56 3 6 9 80 8 0 3 3 12
1990โ€“91 New York Rangers NHL 14 0 1 1 27 โ€” โ€” โ€” โ€” โ€”
1991โ€“92 Rochester Americans AHL 62 10 24 34 110 13 0 4 4 16
1992โ€“93 San Diego Gulls IHL 81 10 32 42 100 14 1 6 7 26
NHL totals 691 105 195 300 1264 52 11 13 24 193

See also

References

External links


Simple English

Born February 17, 1960 (1960-02-17) (age 51),
Warburg, AB, CAN
Height
Weight
6 ft 02 in (1.88 m)
190 lb (86 kg; 13 st 8 lb)
Position Forward
Shoots Left
Pro clubs Buffalo Sabres
New York Rangers
NHL Draft 32nd overall, 1979
Buffalo Sabres
Playing career 1979 – 1991

Lindy Ruff is the current head coach of the Buffalo Sabres. He is currently the longest-serving coach in the NHL, being Buffalo's coach since 1997.

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