The Dallas Stars have officially hired Lindy Ruff as the team's new coach, and will introduce him at a press conference to be held at noon at American Airlines Center.
The news of the hiring came out a bit prematurely on Thursday when CEO Jim Lites let it be known that Ruff was most likely to be hired after his interview in Dallas, and now it seems those contract terms have indeed been worked out.
"I am honored to be joining the Dallas Stars organization," said Ruff, from the team's press release. "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."
Ruff is the 22nd head coach in franchise history, and the third head coach of the Stars since 2009. Best known as the coach of the Buffalo Sabres, Ruff was a firm believer that Brett Hull's goal in 1999 should not have counted -- I'm guessing that's one of the first things we'll hear about at today's press conference.
General manager Jim Nill has said all along that he wants an experienced head coach that instill a culture of accountability in the locker room, and that's something that Ruff is known for. He's a hardline and direct coach who rarely loses his cool but he's known for not taking much from his players.
Ruff is also a coach that won't play the matchup game as closely as others around the league; he believes in rolling all four lines with a balanced two-way approach that starts with defense and goaltending and that's exactly the sort of team it seems that Nill is wanting to build.
We'll have more on this hiring and on the press conference later today.
Here's the press release:
Dallas Stars General Manager Jim Nill announced today that the team has hired Lindy Ruff as the 22nd head coach in franchise history and the seventh in Dallas Stars history.
The club will hold a press conference today (Friday, June 21) at American Airlines Center to introduce Ruff as head coach.
Ruff, 53, is the 12th-winningest head coach in NHL history, one of only 17 to ever reach the 500-victory plateau, and has the third-most wins of any active coach. Now entering his second stint as an NHL head coach, last season he departed the Buffalo Sabres as their all-time franchise leader in wins with a 571-432-162 record. During Ruff's tenure in Buffalo, the team made eight postseason appearances, including four trips to the Eastern Conference Final as well as an appearance in the 1999 Stanley Cup Final. In 2006, he was awarded the Jack Adams Award as the League's top coach for guiding his team to the Conference Final. Ruff was nominated again for the accolade in 2007 for posting consecutive 50-win campaigns and for leading his club to the Presidents' Trophy, which is earned annually by the top team in the regular season.
"One of the trademarks of successful organizations is their ability to have continuity and stability for an extended period of time," said Nill. "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."
In Ruff's eight postseason appearances, he has earned a 57-44 record, which is tied for the 15th-most playoff victories in NHL history. He is also one of only 21 all-time head coaches to guide his team through at least 100 postseason contests.
No stranger to international competition, Ruff coached Canada's National Team to a silver medal at the World Championships in 2009, served as an associate coach for the gold medal-winning team at the 2010 Winter Olympic Games in Vancouver, and served as head coach once more at the 2013 World Championships.
"I am honored to be joining the Dallas Stars organization," said Ruff. "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."
Prior to his coaching career, the native of Warburg, Alberta, played 691 games in the NHL from 1979 to 1991, posting 300 points (105G-195A). He was Buffalo's second-round selection (32nd overall) in 1979.
Ruff and his wife, Gaye, have four children, Brett, Eryn, Brian and Madeleine.