2 reasons why the Sabres must strongly consider bringing back Lindy Ruff and 2 reasons why they shouldn’t

Former Buffalo Sabres head coach Lindy Ruff is a free agent after the Devils relieved him of his duties on Monday. Should the Blue and Gold make the bold move?

New Jersey Devils v Montreal Canadiens
New Jersey Devils v Montreal Canadiens / Minas Panagiotakis/GettyImages
facebooktwitterreddit
Prev
3 of 5
Next

Why they shouldn’t: The Sabres firing coaches every few seasons has suffered disastrous results

While the Sabres haven’t parlayed their strong finish from 2022-23 into a top three or even a wild card spot in early March, a young group like them still has a lot of room for growth. Nobody wants to see their team on the verge of making the playoffs only to take a step back, but it shouldn’t always end in a coach losing their job. 

In Lindy Ruff’s case, the Devils were one of the better teams in hockey in 2022-23, and they made it to the second round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs. Nobody expected the Sabres to accomplish that last season or even this year, even if they were expected to be serious playoff contenders. 

So, firing Don Granato after one underperforming season with a young hockey team not only makes little sense, but it’s a road the Sabres have traveled one too many times with horrendous results. After they fired Ruff, they brought in Ron Rolston before ultimately rolling with Ted Nolan (who previously coached the team) in November 2013. 

Then they fired Nolan in 2015 before bringing on Dan Bylsma, who lasted just two seasons. Phil Housley succeeded Bylsma in 2017, but he was gone by 2019, and they brought in Ralph Krueger, who lasted a season-and-a-half before Granato got the job. 

Firing coaches the way Buffalo has since they let Ruff go has never given this team a playoff berth, so why try something that hasn’t worked in a decade?