The Dallas Stars will hire Lindy Ruff as the club’s next head coach, according to multiple reports Thursday.
Stars’ president Jim Lites revealed his team’s plans to hire Ruff at a Fort Worth Chamber of Commerce luncheon on Thursday at the Colonial Country Club, according to the Star-Telegram.
“Lites said he shook Ruff’s hand in Frisco as he walked to his car to head to Fort Worth, saying that barring any unforeseen circumstances, the Stars would sign Ruff,” reports the Forth Worth newspaper.
The longest-tenured NHL coach until he was fired by the Buffalo Sabres midseason, Ruff coached against the Stars in the 1999 Stanley Cup final.
The news of his joining the Stars arrives almost 14 years to the day Ruff’s Sabres lost the Cup to Dallas on a highly controversial goal scored by Brett Hull in Game 6. It would be the closest Ruff ever came to winning an NHL championship:
Ruff won the Jack Adams Award as coach of the year in 2006.
The 53-year-old Ruff wasted no time expressing his desire to get back behind a bench after he was fired during his 15th season with the Sabres.
“I miss it already,” he told reporters the week he was dismissed.
Ruff coached Team Canada to a fifth-place finish at the IIHF world championship this spring.
“This is a prelude to getting back in it. Obviously, you’re hoping to get back in it. You need a little time to decompress, sit back,” Ruff told Hockey Central in April. “I’ve gone through being angry, the anxiety of watching a lot of hockey.
“I’ve spent some time with the family, which has been nice, but I’m anxious to get back at it.”