Ruff led the Stars to its first division title since the 2005-06 season, and the top spot in the Western Conference, with a record of 50-23-9 (109 points) in 2015-16. The campaign marked Ruff's third career 50-win campaign, and the first time Dallas has reached 50 wins since the 2006-07 campaign. Ruff also guided the club past the Minnesota Wild in the Western Conference First Round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs, marking the Stars' first postseason series victory since the 2008 Stanley Cup Playoffs. After improving on his previous season by nine wins and 17 points, Ruff was named a finalist for the 2016 Jack Adams Award as the NHL coach adjudged to have contributed the most to his team's success.
Ruff, 56, is the fifth-winningest head coach in NHL history with a 702-517-78-114 record. He is one of only five coaches in history to ever reach the 700-victory plateau, and has the third-most wins of any active coach behind Joel Quenneville and Ken Hitchcock. Ruff is one of four individuals in League history to have coached in over 1,400 NHL contests and appeared in 600 NHL games as a player. Now in his second stint as an NHL head coach, he departed the Buffalo Sabres as the franchise's all-time leader in wins with 571.
During Ruff's tenure in Buffalo, the team made eight postseason appearances, including four trips to the Eastern Conference Final, as well as an appearance in the 1999 Stanley Cup Final. In 2006, he earned the Jack Adams Award as the League's top coach, guiding his team to the Eastern Conference Final. Ruff was nominated again for the accolade in 2007 after posting consecutive 50-win campaigns and leading his club to the Presidents' Trophy, which is earned annually by the team that posts the top regular season record in the NHL.
In Ruff's 10 career postseason appearances, he has earned a 66-54 record, ranking 13th in playoff victories in NHL history. He is also one of only 24 coaches all-time to coach at least 100 postseason contests.
Ruff began his NHL coaching career as an assistant with the Florida Panthers in 1993 during the club's inaugural season and spent four seasons behind the bench with the Panther. During his time in Florida, he helped guide the club to two playoff appearances and the 1996 Stanley Cup Final.
No stranger to international competition, Ruff coached Canada's Men's National Team to a silver medal at the IIHF World Championship in 2009 and served as an associate coach for the gold medal-winning Canadian teams at the 2010 Winter Olympic Games in Vancouver and the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi. He also served as head coach for Team Canada at the 2013 IIHF World Championship.
Prior to his coaching career, the native of Warburg, Alta. played 691 games in the NHL over 12 seasons, posting 300 points (105-195=300) with Buffalo and the New York Rangers. Ruff was originally selected by Buffalo in the second round (32nd overall) of the 1979 NHL Draft.
Ruff and his wife, Gaye, have four children: Brett, Eryn, Brian and Madeleine.