Buffalo Sabres General Manager Darcy Regier announced late Wednesday afternoon that Lindy Ruff was relieved of his duties as head coach of the Buffalo Sabres. Regier also announced that Ron Rolston will serve as the interim head coach of the Sabres, beginning with the team's game against Toronto on Thursday, and continuing through the remainder of the season.
"The hockey world knows how I and the entire Buffalo Sabres organization feel about Lindy Ruff, not only as a coach, but also as a person," said Sabres owner Terry Pegula. "His long tenure with the Sabres has ended. His qualities have made this decision very difficult. I personally want Lindy to know that he can consider me a friend always."
Rolston becomes the 16th head coach in franchise history and joins the Sabres after spending the 2011-12 and 2012-13 seasons as head coach of the Rochester Americans of the American Hockey League. As head coach of the Americans, Rolston compiled a 63-44-17 regular-season record.
Prior to joining the Americans, Rolston spent seven seasons as head coach with USA Hockey's National Team Development Program, where he became the first coach in U.S. history to lead the U.S. Under-18 team to three gold medals (2005, 2009, 2011) at the International Ice Hockey Federation World Under-18 Championship, adding a silver medal (2007) in his other appearance as head coach.
In addition to coaching at the Under-18 and Under-17 levels, Rolston also served as head coach for the U.S. National Junior Team at the IIHF U20 World Championship in 2007 and 2009. In 2007, he led Team USA to the bronze medal.
Rolston joined USA Hockey after serving as an assistant coach at four different NCAA Division I hockey programs (Lake Superior State University, 1990-95; Clarkson University, 1996-99; Harvard University, 1999-2002; Boston College, 2002-04) between 1990 and 2004, winning National Championships in 1992 and 1994 with Lake Superior State University.