Yesterday, at 3:19 PM, I received the news via text that Lindy Ruff had been fired.
The "Chan Gailey Fired! FUCKIN A!!!!!!111" texts were way more satisfying than the ones I sent yesterday.
This one sucks WAY more than that firing. This is more of a horribly sad breakup. One of those where nobody does something significantly terrible to immediately end the relationship, but rather a once torrid love dies slowly until nothing but slight animosity remains.
"Connolly, Jochen, Gaustad." "Who are 'Reasons for Lindy Ruff's demise', Alex."
Lindy needed to be fired, no matter what the likes of Nick Mendola
and the happy brigade (don't boo
, you guys! hands across america!!!!) back home might be saying. (I like most of those people but I also like being mean, so....you know....sociopathy). This is as much an organizational gut check as it is the first referendum on Darcy Regier's tenure as GM of the Buffalo Sabres. A poor carpenter blames his tools, but Darcy had Lindy building the Hoover Dam with a metaphor for a shitty tool set at times.
But I'm not here to focus on the bad times. I'm here to focus on the good times, for once in my cold, soulless life (before I start, /Barrister fat joke). I would like to thank Lindy Ruff for his time served under excruciating circumstances for a coach from the bottom of my insignificant heart. This is a man who dealt with Rigas Family Bingo, Bettman's Stewardship, Golisano's Microphone Eating Schtick, Darcy Regier's lack of team building expertise, No Goal, and Larry fucking Quinn. Throughout all of these hardships, he amassed a record of 562-452-84 with our beloved Buffalo Sabres. Not all of it was good (see: early 2000s). Not all of it was bad (see: mid 2000s, the 90s).
In the end, Lindy brought us to respectability throughout the league. Nobody remembers us for our idiot owners, bankruptcy, etc. They remember that for a period of time, we had the hardest working team in hockey. Then again, a few years down the line, we had the Showtime Lakers of the NHL, if only briefly. These were two teams coached by Lindy Ruff. Those two teams brought me so much more happiness than any of his losing teams brought me sadness. I can thank Lindy for being the catalyst to some of the happiest times of my life (Sabres Flags on my Buick in the 90s, Bar hopping during the Drury years after wins in my mid 20s). Sadly, we probably identify ourselves too closely with the teams we support. Thank you Lindy for making those identities pretty happy for many years. Best of luck.