For the first time since the end of the 1996-97 season, someone other than Lindy Ruff will be coaching the Buffalo Sabres when they play the Toronto Maple Leafs on Thursday night.
Ruff, the longest-tenured coach in the NHL and a fixture in Buffalo for 25 years as a player and bench boss, was fired Wednesday, one day after a 2-1 home loss to the Winnipeg Jets dropped the Sabres to 6-10-1, leaving them 13th in the Eastern Conference and in danger of missing the Stanley Cup Playoffs for a second straight season.
Ruff's 15 seasons in Buffalo yielded a trip to the 1999 Stanley Cup Final, a Presidents' Trophy in 2006-07, and back-to-back trips to the Eastern Conference Finals in 2006 and '07.
With a 571-432-162 record, Ruff was the winningest coach in franchise history; only Al Arbour, who won 740 games with the New York Islanders, has more NHL victories with one team.
NHL.com takes a closer look at Ruff's time in Buffalo as a player and coach:
Aug. 9, 1979 -- The Buffalo Sabres choose Ruff, a highly regarded defenseman with the Lethbridge Broncos of the Western Hockey League, in the second round (No. 32) of the NHL Draft.