Lindy (Likely) Ain’t Goin Nowhere
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This week added more woes to the country’s unemployment numbers, with both Paul Maurice and Bruce Boudreau being fired from their head coaching positions. Within minutes they were both replaced, and on Tuesday night, both new coaches let their first games in the new positions.
Washington and Carolina have had rough starts to the almost two-month old season, which is more so shocking for for Washington. When teams take a turn for the worse, the easiest answer seems to be to get rid of the coach (takes less work than anything else).
When a team goes sour, we all wait for the headline. And when one coach goes down, at least one more will follow.
The idea of the Sabres ridding themselves of Lindy Ruff has never populated enough to actually cause a panic. With the longtime support of Darcy Regier, who we tend to hate more, and now Terry Pegula, there’s barely a poorly written statement regarding the matter in a Bucky article.
Ruff, 51, has been head coach since the 1997-98 season, making him the longest tenured coach in the NHL, and the third in all professional sports. That’s a long time even outside sports standards. When Ruff was hired, Princess Diana was still alive, gas cost $1.22 a gallon, OJ Simpson was a free man and Tyler Myers was a really tall seven year old.
The past fifteen years have also brought a trip to the Stanley Cup finals in his first year as coach (fun fact, he was the assistant coach for the Panthers when they made it to the cup finals in 1996), a conference championship, two Jack Adams nominations, and a win.
Earlier this year, Ruff became the coach to win the most games while coaching the same team after reaching 500 games won in the same month.
An honorable mention to the infamous
2007 Sabres vs. Sens brawl that Ruff initiated after taking justice into his own hands, which landed him with a ten thousand dollar fine in addition to Marty Biron’s first- and currently only- career fight.
Other major events that have taken place since Lindy took over the Sabres include:
– the scandal and impeachment of Bill Clinton
– Festivus was introduced to popular culture (years later, Ruff would disapprove of it)
– the Euro was introduced as a currency
– the Y2K panic (that turned out to be nothing)
– the war on terror began (and is still on going)
– the Boston Red Sox win their first World Series since 1918
– the first African American president was elected
– the outbreak of swine flu (also not a big deal)
– SARS broke out there somewhere in there, too
So while other teams may be quick to act on firing a coach, and then sit there scratching their heads as to why that hasn’t changed anything, it isn’t likely that Buffalo will follow in that path. As long as Ken Hitchcock is allowed to coach, Lindy won’t be joining the unemployment line anytime soon- and Hitchcock has been fired three times in his coaching career.
Surely, this is another blog post on the topic that will go in the archives of all the times Sabres fans found something new to complain about, but it’s what we do. Tomorrow, we’ll be mad about something else, and Lindy will still be around. After all, Pegula assured us that Lindy isn’t going anywhere, and why would he lie to us?
next post: Sabres Call Up the Other Really Tall Guy