Current Buffalo Sabres head coach Lindy Ruff, one of several inductees expected on hand for the announcement, will give remarks on behalf of the class. Ruff is the longest tenured coach in the NHL and enjoyed a 13 year NHL playing career with the Sabres and New York Rangers prior to being named Buffalo’s bench boss.
A former Buffalo Bill, and a host of local legends, highlight the class of 13 new inductees into the Greater Buffalo Sports Hall of Fame.
Joining Ruff are Steve Christie (Football), brothers Darris and Rich Kilgour (Lacrosse), Dr. Daniel P. Starr (Athletic Administrator), Gail Maloney (Coach/Athletic Administrator), Whitey Martin (Basketball), George Breen (Swimming) and Charlie Dingboom (Coach).
Despite never winning a Stanley Cup, Ruff is far and away the league’s most tenured coach. He’s been behind the bench longer than the existence of some of its franchises. Only Barry Trotz can compete – to some extent – with Ruff’s incredible longevity as an NHL team’s head coach.
Just looking at the head coaching vacancies around the NHL, it’s mind blowing just how much job security Ruff enjoys. He’s been through some trying times with the Sabres franchise. The club fought off bankruptcy concerns, the Brett Hull “foot in the crease” controversy and the departure of Chris Drury and Danny Briere during his 13 seasons.
I don’t know if it’s unusually high loyalty from the club’s ownership or Ruff’s ability to adapt to an ever-changing league, but his lengthy stay behind Buffalo’s bench is an impressive accomplishment. He deserves this recognition.