If you thought that February 20, 2013 was the end of all things Lindy Ruff in Buffalo – then you might be sadly mistaken. The obvious factor in this is the fact that he was signed on this off season by the Dallas Stars, and will mark his first return to Buffalo on October 28th, 2013 – just fourteen games into the first season without Ruff behind the bench.
Where will the Buffalo Sabres be in year one – albeit just over a dozen games into the schedule? Realistically, the Sabres could be looking at either 3-10 when the Stars come to town, or they could be nearer the .500 mark.
More importantly – how will the fan base and team react to having Lindy Ruff back in the building. Lindy Ruff will probably receive a warm welcome from his former team, after spending 25 years of his life dedicated to the Buffalo Sabres.
My question now is - how will the Buffalo Sabres recognize Lindy Ruff, now that the Ruff era is over in Buffalo?
This conversation might be a little premature, like ripping off the Band-Aid too early – but what now Buffalo?
With the respect and admiration that the Buffalo Sabres owner Terry Pegula has for Lindy Ruff – when Ruff no longer coaches an NHL franchise anymore, Terry will make room for Ruff in the front office. I have no doubt in my mind that if Lindy is not under contract when Darcy Regier finally gets the knife – Ruff could be enticed to come back as the general manager, to show that he can win with the Blue and Gold done his way.
All we can say at this point would be speculation. But should the team at some point honor Lindy Ruff more than just a heartfelt acknowledgement by the fans when Lindy returns in October?
Lindy did appear in 608 games for the Buffalo Sabres from 1979-1989 when he was traded to the New York Rangers. Is that 608 games and what he did for the team worthy of a banner – to hang forever in the history of the Buffalo Sabres honoring number 22?
What about putting a banner up in honor of the former player and coach simply with the number 15, bracketing the years he coached his Buffalo Sabres?
Sure Lindy didn’t go out the way most fans would have wanted him to go out, he had the passion and the blue collar ethic that we love in our sports teams, but should the team honor his accomplishment of coaching on organization for as long as he did?