3 reasons why bringing back Lindy Ruff makes perfect sense for the Sabres

The Buffalo Sabres were looking to bring in a near-perfect head coach. And in reality, there was no one else better suited than Lindy Ruff.
Nov 5, 2023; Chicago, Illinois, USA; New Jersey Devils head coach Lindy Ruff stands behind the bench
Nov 5, 2023; Chicago, Illinois, USA; New Jersey Devils head coach Lindy Ruff stands behind the bench / David Banks-USA TODAY Sports
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Well, that didn’t take long now, did it? Go back to when the New Jersey Devils let Lindy Ruff go in March, and there was an inkling that the Buffalo Sabres would bring back one of the most familiar names in franchise history. 

There were pros and cons to hiring Ruff for a second stint as the franchise’s head coach, but after the way things turned out this season in Buffalo, you can argue the pros outweigh the cons. Sure, Ruff’s former team, the New Jersey Devils, took a major step back this season. However, it shouldn’t define his abilities to be a head coach in today’s game, something we’ll dive into later. 

Yes, he’s 64, meaning there’s a good chance that his second stint with the Sabres won’t even last a decade, and there’s no way he’ll be here for over a decade-and-a-half this time. The drawbacks are clear. But for a group that showed us in 2022-23 that it could be a playoff team, they needed someone who could walk right in with a plan in mind and give them that much-needed boost former head coach Don Granato never offered. 

Buffalo Sabres made a genius move hiring Lindy Ruff

Someone who could bring more structure and, when needed, accountability. Ruff is more than capable of giving this still very young Sabres team both, or else he wasn’t getting the job.

Unpopular opinion to some, but when the Sabres fired Don Granato, John Tortorella was a coach that came to mind. Obviously, that wasn’t going to work since he’s with the Philadelphia Flyers, but you get the gist - he’s someone who would have brought much-needed discipline to a team that had little. 

Sure, Ruff was there for the taking, but he was just one of many coaches for the job. While hiring him, as the title of this article implies, made “perfect sense,” one major concern - also implied earlier - was whether general manager Kevyn Adams would be keen to bring in the 64-year-old Ruff, who isn’t far off from career twilight?

Ruff’s age didn’t faze Adams, and in the end, we should be grateful. Let’s talk about why bringing the seasoned veteran on for a second stint in Buffalo looks like a very, very good idea. 

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