Now former Sabres Head Coach Lindy Ruff addressed the media Friday for the first time since his firing earlier this week. YNN's Ryan Whalen reports the press conference was emotional, at some points funny, but mostly it was a chance for the coach to say thank you.
"I'm really looking forward to taking over here and building from where they were at last year," said Lindy Ruff, back in 1997.
More than fifteen years, four Eastern Conference finals and one Stanley Cup appearance later, Lindy Ruff recounted how his tenure as Sabres head coach ended.
"I can walk you through Wednesday. You know I left here and Darcy came out to my home and I saw him. I said, I know."
Ruff says Sabres General Manager Darcy Regier was his biggest supporter.
"We went through a lot together an I'm indebted to him for entrusting me in a lot of tough situations."
Ruff asked Regier if he could give the news to his players personally. He says the team bus was silent.
"I know how they feel. I feel their pain at the same time. It's hard. It's hard right now but I think better days are right around the corner."
The coach thanked all his players, current and former, as well as the owners through the years. He says the current ownership is first class.
"My biggest disappointment is not getting it done for them."
Then Ruff, starting to choke up, expressed his gratitude to the fans.
"I love Western New York, so just thanks to all the fans over all these years. I owe you. You made this a special place to coach."
Always the hockey coach, Ruff says he's tried to watch hockey since he's been let go. He was only able to get through a period of Thursday's Sabres game and says he's finding other ways to pass the time.
"If you've been wondering what I've been up to, I've been drinking around, from Tim Horton's to Tim Horton's, rolling up the rim."
Ruff says right now he's letting his head clear, but when asked if he'd like to coach again he responded, "oh yeah, I miss it already." But the coach says Western New York will always be his home.
YNN Rochester: Lindy Ruff speaks out for first time
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