The Dallas Stars made it official on Friday morning and announced that Lindy Ruff will be the 22nd coach in franchise history. Ruff replaces Glen Gulutzan, who was dismissed following the 2013 season.
Ruff, the long-time coach in Buffalo, was fired 17 games into the season after the Sabes stumbled out of the gate with a 6-10-1 record ending what had been the longest coaching tenure in the NHL.
"One of the trademarks of successful organizations is their ability to have continuity and stability for an extended period of time," new Stars general manager Jim Nill said in a team statement. "It is clear from Lindy's record, and from our own conversations, that we have found the right person to provide that stability and lead this club to the next level. His steady hand and experience will prove invaluable in returning our team as a top-tier contender in the NHL."
He spent parts of 15 seasons in Buffalo and compiled a 571-432-162 record that included eight trips to the playoffs.
"I am honored to be joining the Dallas Stars organization," Ruff said. "After speaking at length with Jim Nill, it was clear that all the right pieces are coming together to return this club to the upper-echelon of the NHL. I look forward to leading its resurgence."
He will be taking over a Stars team that has some really good pieces already in place with Loui Eriksson, Jamie Benn, Kari Lehtonen and Alex Goligoski but has missed the playoffs five years in a row.
Ruff was behind the bench for the Sabres when they lost to the Stars in the 1999 Stanley Cup Final on Brett Hull's controversial overtime goal in Game 6. Ruff ended that season at a rally telling a frenzied group of Sabres fans that he had two words for the offseason: "No Goal."
And now, all of these years later, Ruff will be behind the bench in Dallas.