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Lindy Ruff

Head Coach, New Jersey Devils

Jack Adams Award

[NHL Coach of the Year]


736 Career Wins

[As an NHL Head Coach, Regular Season]

120 Playoff Games

2X Olympic Gold

[Assistant Coach]

2010 & 2014


Lindy Ruff served as a head coach in the National Hockey League for 19 seasons (1997-98 - 2016-17). In 1,493 career regular-season games as the lead man behind an NHL bench, Ruff recorded a 736-554-78-125 record (.561 points percentage). He ranks seventh among head coaches in NHL history in regular-season games coached, behind only Scotty Bowman, Joel Quenneville, Al Arbour, Barry Trotz, and Ken Hitchcock.

Ruff ranks sixth all-time in regular-season wins as a head coach in the NHL. In the playoffs, Ruff's teams have gone 66-54 in 120 games (.550 winning percentage).

Ruff's head coaching career in the NHL began with the Buffalo Sabres in 1997-98. He stayed with the Sabres organization as head coach for parts of 15 seasons (1997-98 - 2012-13). He is the franchise's all-time leader in games coached (1,165) and wins (571). Under his guidance, the Sabres advanced to the Eastern Conference Final in his first season. He brought the team to the Stanley Cup Final in his second season behind the bench (1998-99).

The Sabres advanced to the Eastern Conference Final in two consecutive seasons in 2005-06 and 2006-07. And he was named the winner of the Jack Adams Award in 2005-06 for being the NHL Coach of the Year. He was also named a finalist for the Jack Adams Award in 2006-07. The Sabres won the Presidents' Trophy (for having the best regular-season record in the NHL) for the first time in franchise history that season. Buffalo recorded a single-season franchise record with 53 wins.

Ruff served as the head coach of the Dallas Stars for four seasons (2013-14 - 2016-17). He was once again named a finalist for the Jack Adams Award for the third time in 2015-16. That season, Ruff managed a record of 50-23-9 record and helped the Stars finish in first place in the Central Division and in the Western Conference.

Offensively, Ruff has proven his impact. In the span of four years with the Stars, the club ranked second in the NHL in goals per game (2.97).

A native of Alberta, Ruff has served as a member of Team Canada's coaching staff in several tournaments. In 2009, Ruff and Canada won a silver medal at the 2009 IIHF World Championship. He was also Team Canada's Head Coach at the 2013 IIHF World Championship. Ruff won gold as the Associate Coach for Team Canada at the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver, British Columbia, and the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia.

As a player, Ruff skated in 691 career NHL games over parts of 12 seasons in the league. He scored 105 goals and added 195 assists for 300 points, along with 1,264 penalty minutes. Ruff was originally selected by Buffalo in the second round of the 1979 NHL Entry Draft.

7th All‑Time

[In NHL Regular Season Games Coached]

1,493 Games

6th All-Time

[In NHL Regular Season Wins Coached]

736 Wins

3x Finalist

[For NHL Coach of the Year]

2006, 2007, 2016


  • Ruff's 1999 Buffalo team was part of one of the NHL's most iconic moments when in the Stanley Cup Final against Dallas, Stars Brett Hull scored the Cup-winning goal with his foot in the crease, a play that was illegal at the time and should have resulted in a disallowed goal.

  • In his first four seasons with Buffalo Ruff coached the team to playoff appearances, including a Stanley Cup Final berth in 1999. The Sabres have not qualified for the Stanley Cup playoffs since Ruff's departure in 2013.

  • Ruff coached the Sabres to back-to-back 50-plus win seasons, between 2005

  • Ruff's extensive coaching resume puts him at sixth on the NHL's all-time wins list, with 736 and ranks seventh in games coached with 1493 games.

  • In addition, he has also coached 120 career Stanley Cup Playoff games and has an overall record of 66-54.

  • Ruff ranks second all-time in NHL history for most games coached with a single franchise and most wins with one franchise, trailing only Al Arbour of the New York Islanders in both categories.

  • Ruff was an associate coach for Team Canada at the 2010 and 2014 Olympics, winning gold medals at both Games. Devils defenseman P.K. Subban was a member of the 2014 gold medal-winning team with Canada.

  • Lindy Ruff was an assistant coach for Team Canada at the 2019 World Championship, coaching Devils Damon Severson and Mackenzie Blackwood.