Ruff reaches out to Garbutt’s dad about son’s reckless play

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Ryan Garbutt took the long path to the NHL, but at this point the 29-year-old forward has firmly established himself with the Dallas Stars. Head coach Lindy Ruff doesn’t hesitate to consistently put him in the lineup, but he’s not always allowed to. Garbutt has been suspended three times in the last two seasons, which has cost him a total of 10 games.

Stars GM Jim Nill has plainly stated that Garbutt “has to change his game” and Ruff has gone so far as to speak to Garbutt’s father about his son’s suspension problems.

“I’ve used almost every strategy I’ve got, and I love him,” Ruff told the Dallas Morning News. “For me, I’ve spent time with him, even talked with his dad. His dad and I played together and I wanted to help him realize he can’t afford any more of these. He’s a valuable piece of this team, and when he’s playing well, I play him in every important situation.”

Gord Garbutt was a goaltender that made it as far as the AHL Moncton Alpines. Prior to that, Ruff and the elder Garbutt spent part of the 1976-77 season and all of 1977-78 playing together for the now defunt Western Hockey League team in Lethbridge.