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Coach fired after 16 years: NHL's Sabres try to regroup

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In the NHL alone, there had been 170 coaching changes since Ruff was hired on July 21, 1997.

"I'm disappointed for myself. I'm disappointed for Lindy. And when I see the players, I'm disappointed for them, too." Regier said. "We should all be disappointed. As far as anger, we have too much work to do."

The decision to fire Ruff came shortly after he oversaw a 90-minute practice and was preparing to travel with the team for Thursday's game at Toronto.

Regier went to Ruff's home to inform the coach of the decision. He then allowed Ruff to visit with players as they boarded a bus to travel to Toronto.

Rolston is in his second season with the Rochester Americans. He was scheduled to arrive in Buffalo on Wednesday evening and then join Regier in traveling to Toronto for his first meeting with Sabres players.

Regier said he'll use the remainder of the season to determine whether Rolston deserves taking over the job on a full-time basis.

Before taking over in Rochester, Rolston spent seven seasons as coach of USA Hockey's National Team development program. During that time, he became the first coach to lead the U.S. Under-18 team to win three gold medals (2005, 2009, 2011).

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