Lindy Ruff enters his second season as head coach of the Dallas Stars after being hired by General Manager Jim Nill on June 21, 2013.
In his first season as Dallas’ head coach, Ruff guided the club to its first playoff berth since 2008 with a 40-31-11 regular season record before being defeated by the Anaheim Ducks in six games in the first round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs.
Ruff, 54, is the 12th-winningest head coach in NHL history, one of only 18 to ever reach the 500-victory plateau, and has the third-most wins of any active coach, behind Joel Quenneville and Ken Hitchcock. Now in his second stint as an NHL head coach, 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, guiding his team to the Conference Final. Ruff was nominated again for the accolade in 2007 after posting consecutive 50-win campaigns and for leading his club to the Presidents’ Trophy, which is earned annually by the team that posts the top regular season record in the NHL.
In Ruff’s nine postseason appearances, he has earned a 59-48 record, which is tied for the 15th-most playoff victories in NHL history. He is also one of only 22 coaches all-time to coach at least 100 postseason contests.
Ruff began his NHL coaching career as an assistant with the Florida Panthers in 1993 during the club’s inaugural season and spent four seasons behind the bench with the Panthers, helping guide the club to two playoff appearances and the 1996 Stanley Cup Final, where they fell to the Colorado Avalanche.
No stranger to international competition, Ruff coached Canada’s National Team to a silver medal at the World Championships in 2009 and served as an associate coach for the gold medal-winning Canadian teams at the 2010 Winter Olympic Games in Vancouver and the 2014 Winter Olympic Games in Sochi. He also served as head coach at the 2013 World Championships for Canada.
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) for Buffalo and the New York Rangers. He was Buffalo’s second-round selection (32nd overall) in the 1979 NHL Draft.
Ruff and his wife, Gaye, have four children, Brett, Eryn, Brian and Madeleine.