Lindy Ruff

Sabres officially extend Lindy Ruff’s contract in Buffalo

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.

Sabres place Lehner on IR; Recall Lieuwen

Connor Brown, Robin Lehner
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They’re just one game into their regular season, but the Buffalo Sabres have already had to shift things around in their crease.

The Sabres announced that they have placed starting goaltender Robin Lehner on injured reserve after he was knocked out of Thursday’s game with a lower-body injury.

In a corresponding move, the club has recalled Nathan Lieuwen from their AHL affiliate in Rochester.

The 24-year-old didn’t play in the NHL last season, but he did have a 1-4-0 record with a 2.98 goals-against-average and a .906 save percentage in seven games during the 2013-14 season.

Lieuwen was Buffalo’s sixth round pick, 167th overall, in the 2011 draft.

The Sabres also announced that they have loaned defenseman Jake McCabe and goaltender Linus Ullmark to the Rochester Americans (AHL).

McCabe was a healthy scratch in Thursday’s game against Ottawa, while Ullmark is being activated off I.R. after having double hip surgery during the off-season.



Chara ‘doubtful’ for game against rival Canadiens

Brad Marchand, Zdeno Chara
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It looks like the Boston Bruins will be without their captain again on Saturday night.

Head coach Claude Julien told members of the media that Zdeno Chara is considered doubtful for tonight’s game against the Montreal Canadiens.

Chara suffered an upper-body injury during the preseason and he’s already been forced to miss Boston’s season opening loss to the Jets.

Per CSN, Chara says he’s improving but he won’t return to the lineup until he’s as close to 100 percent as possible.

“Every area of the injury is improving,” said Chara. “Hopefully it’s not long before I’m free of any kind of discomfort. That’s what we’re doing right now…we’re being patient. For sure you don’t want to come back, and be half of what you are…and basically hurting yourself and the team. And you’re putting yourself in a position where you could be missing more time. At this time of the season, I think it’s important to be as close as you can be to 100 percent.”

Based on the number of defensive mistakes they committed on Thursday, the Bruins need Chara back as soon as possible: