After a slow start to the season, Lindy Ruff has been fired by the Buffalo Sabres. He was the longest tenured coach in the NHL with 16 seasons behind the bench for the Buffalo Sabres. And, if I’m not mistaken, this will throw Colorado Avalanche fans into a frenzy. And, most likely, it’ll all be in vain.
See, the last time two major coaches were available, we were pretty much jumping for management to step in and do something about it. First, Bruce Boudreau was fired from the Washington Capitals, and Avalanche fans were going crazy about it – “we have to fire Sacco now!”. Instead, Anaheim Ducks fired Randy Carlyle and replaced him with Bruce. And the hard-tested Avalanche fans said “Wait – Randy Carlyle is out there? We have to fire Sucko (his affectionate nickname) nooooooow.”
Instead, Randy Carlyle was hired by the Toronto Maple Leafs.
At the time of Ruff’s firing, Toronto is 6th in the East under Carlyle. Anaheim is 2nd in the West under Boudreau. And the Avs are 13th in the West with Sacco behind the bench.
Now, I’m not saying that the Avalanche would’ve been 6th or 2nd if they had replaced Sacco with Boudreau or Carlyle. But you have to imagine that they might have been able to coax a bit more out of the Avalanche roster than Sacco’s been doing. Sacco has one playoff season under his belt and two seasons with a top five draft pick to show for his efforts. In 2010-2011, the roster practically gave up on him. Last year, the team was carried by Ryan O’Reilly and Gabriel Landeskog, but still finished outside of the playoffs.
I think – actually, I’m rather certain – that Avs fans will be clamoring once again for the front office to finally fire Sacco. And I’m sure we’re bound to be disappointed yet again, as Sacco looks like he’s sitting safe for at least this season as well, which may very well land the Avs another top 5 pick in the draft.
Instead, I would look toward teams like Winnipeg Jets, New York Islanders, Edmonton Oilers and Florida Panthers when the times comes for Ruff to put pen to paper on a new contract. Or hey, here’s a crazy idea – demote Adam Oates to assistant coach in Washington, or fire him, and let Lindy Ruff try to whip Alexander Ovechkin back into form!