For any Sabres fans that thought coach Lindy Ruff might not be sticking around after another first round exit from the playoffs and with a new owner on the scene in Terry Pegula, think again.
The Sabres officially gave Ruff a multiyear extension today, the terms of which are unknown. Considering that Ruff has been the Sabres bench boss since 1997, it seems like it would take an act of God to get him to stop being the coach in Buffalo. For Pegula and GM Darcy Regier, however, change is something that doesn’t come easy and they’re happy to stay the course and keep things familiar.
Team president Ted Black explains the Sabres philosophy when it comes to personnel decisions and the Sabres upcoming offseason.
“That’s the Pegula way. They treat people like family, and I think that we’re going to be on the short list — we being Buffalo and the Buffalo Sabres — we’re going to be on the short list of a lot of free agents and players that are putting together their no-trade lists. We’re going to be the exception on no-trade lists. They’re going to want to come here.”
Considering that Buffalo isn’t a city that generally excites a lot of players, selling them on a great atmosphere in the organization as well as within the locker room is a smart approach. A lot of places might be teeming over with drama or have that feeling like the those on the top of the organization don’t care about what goes on so long as the financials all make sense.
It’s clear that Pegula is taking a more down home approach to owning a professional sports franchise. It’s a pretty remarkable change and one that’s wholly unique. Whether it pays off in free agency this July remains to be seen, but we’ll be curious to see if it works. Keeping things steady with the front office and now the head coach position goes a long way towards doing that.