On Friday, the Dallas Stars announced that they have hired Lindy Ruff to be their next head coach. Jim Lites, President and CEO of the organization, tipped off the hire to people who were eating at a luncheon in Fort Worth on Thursday, which sent social media outlets in a frenzy throughout the day. A press conference is scheduled to take place on Friday at the American Airlines Arena where a formal introduction will take place.
Ruff started his coaching career as an assistant with the Florida Panthers for four seasons. In 1997, he was hired to become the head coach of the Buffalo Sabres, where he was at the helm until he was fired midway through this past season. He compiled a record of 571-432-162 while in Buffalo, which makes him the winningest coach in franchise history. Ruff also won the Jack Adams Award in the 2005-2006, given to the coach “adjudged to have contributed the most to his team’s success,” as voted on by broadcasters of the NHL.
The hiring of Ruff isn’t going to make waves throughout the league. If you’ve watched Sabres games as of late, you know that their offense wasn’t exactly the most exciting thing to witness. However, what it does bring the Dallas organization is stability. This is a team that since the 2008-2009 season has had three (now four) different head coaches: Dave Tippett, Marc Crawford, Glen Gulutzan, and now Ruff. He is also someone that, if given the correct personnel, can make a deep run in the playoffs. Coincidentally, he is going to the team that beat him in the 1999 Stanley Cup Finals. The Stars are in desperate need for stability, and for a guy who spent 14 1/2 years with one team it seems the smartest hire for Dallas would be to hire Ruff.