The first of hopefully many accolades for Buffalo Sabres head coach Lindy Ruff this season came on Thursday afternoon when The Sporting News named the longest tenured coach in the NHL as its "Coach of the Year."
The award was determined by a vote of Ruff's peers from around the league. According to The Sporting News, he defeated Carolina Hurricanes head coach Peter Laviolette for the honor by a narrow margin.
Ruff's 2005-06 squad currently holds a two games to one lead in the Eastern Conference Finals over the Hurricanes and set several franchise records during the regular season, including wins (52) and road wins (25).
On April 5th, Ruff became the 31st coach in league history to win 300 games and just the 16th to accomplish the feat with the same team.
Buffalo finished the regular season as the fourth seed in the East after falling only three points short of overtaking the Ottawa Senators for first. The Sabres dispatched the Philadelphia Flyers in six games during the first-round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs and Ottawa in five during the semifinals.