Sabres replace Ruff with Rolston, Regier says Jets loss a ‘tipping point’


Buffalo Sabres GM Darcy Regier met with reporters on Wednesday in the wake of Lindy Ruff’s firing to announce that Ron Rolston will become the 16th head coach in franchise history.

Regier said Rolston — formerly the coach of Buffalo’s AHL affiliate in Rochester — was hired on an interim basis, but will finish out the year behind the Sabres’ bench.

Rolson, 46, coached at both the collegiate and US National Team Development Program levels prior to taking the Rochester gig in 2011.

He is the older brother of longtime NHLer Brian Rolston.

After announcing his new coach, Regier spent a large portion of the press conference discussing Ruff and the events that led to his dismissal.

According to Regier, one major event was Tuesday’s 2-1 home loss to the Winnipeg Jets.

“The prevailing factor here was where we are, where we’re going, conversations I had with Lindy, where he felt the team was,” Regier explained. “Last game, quite honestly, was a tipping point.

“[It was] quite evident to me we were searching for answers to too many questions.”

Other notes and remarks made by Regier:

— He said there were “a lot of unknowns” with the team and mentioned the struggles of Marcus Foligno, Tyler Ennis and Drew Stafford, a trio he cited as being far less productive than a year ago.

— Kevin Porter will be recalled from Rochester to replace Cody McCormick, who was placed on waivers Wednesday morning.

Porter has 44 points in 48 games for the Amerks this season and 163 games of NHL experience, most of it coming with the Colorado Avalanche.

— Regier was adamant that Ruff didn’t “lose the room” and that relieving Ruff of his duties was “very difficult, extremely difficult.”

— He also added he wasn’t worried about his job security.

“No, not right now I don’t,” Regier explained. “This is not my day, this is not about me.”

Kings GM says Mike Richards went into ‘a destructive spiral’

Mike Richards

The Los Angeles Kings may owe Mike Richards money until 2031 (seriously), but in settling his grievance, the team and player more or less get to turn the page.

Not before Kings GM Dean Lombardi shares his sometimes startling perspective, though.

Lombardi has a tendency to be candid, especially in the press release-heavy world of sports management. Even by his standards, his account of Richards’ “destructive sprial” is a staggering read from the Los Angeles Times’ Lisa Dillman.

“Without a doubt, the realization of what happened to Mike Richards is the most traumatic episode of my career,” Lombardi said in a written summation he provided to the Los Angeles Times. “At times, I think that I will never recover from it. It is difficult to trust anyone right now – and you begin to question whether you can trust your own judgment. The only thing I can think of that would be worse would be suspecting your wife of cheating on you for five years and then finding out in fact it was true.”

Lombardi provides plenty of eyebrow-raising statements to Dillman, including:

  • He believed he “found his own Derek Jeter” in Richards, a player who “at one time symbolized everything that was special about the sport.”
  • Lombardi remarked that “his production dropped 50 percent and the certain ‘it’ factor he had was vaporizing in front of me daily.”
  • The Kings GM believes that he was “played” by Richards.

… Yeah.

Again, it’s a powerful read that you should soak in yourself, even if you’re unhappy with the way the Kings handled the situation.

Maybe the most pressing of many lingering questions is: will we get to hear Richards’ side of the story?

Coyotes exploit another lousy outing from Quick

Jonathan Quick

Despite owning two Stanley Cup rings, there are a healthy number of people who aren’t wild about Jonathan Quick.

Those people might feel validated through the Los Angeles Kings’ first two games, as he followed a rough loss to the San Jose Sharks with a true stinker against the Arizona Coyotes on Friday.

Sometimes a goalie has a bad night stats-wise, yet his team is as much to blame as anything else. You can probably pin this one on Quick, who allowed four goals on just 14 shots through the first two periods.

Things died down in the final frame, but let’s face it; slowing things down is absolutely the Coyotes’ design with a 4-1 lead (which ultimately resulted in a 4-1 win).


A soft 1-0 goal turned out to be a sign of things to come:

Many expected the Kings to roar into this second game after laying an egg in their opener. Instead, the Coyotes exploited Quick’s struggles for a confidence-booster, which included key prospect Max Domi scoring a goal and an assist.

It’s worth mentioning that Mike Smith looked downright fantastic at times, only drawing more attention to Quick’s struggles.


After a troubled summer and a failed 2014-15 season, Los Angeles was likely eager to start things off the right way.

Instead, they instead will likely focus on the fact that they merely dropped two (ugly) games.