|(Photo by: Toronto Sun)|
Lindy Ruff was dismissed as head coach of the Buffalo Sabres Wednesday afternoon. Now, head coach of the Nashville Predators Barry Trotz will step in as the NHL's longest current tenured coach in the league. Trotz was hired in 1997, two weeks after Ruff was hired for the Sabres head coaching job.
Ruff was the bench boss in Buffalo for fifteen seasons from 1997-2013, going 571-432-78-84. He never did win a cup with the Sabres even though they had great success, but were Eastern Conference champions in his second season.
However this season, the season hasn't turned out so well for his former team going 6-10-1.
Barry Trotz currently holds the longest current tenured head coach in the league and is second, replacing Ruff, in the longest tenured coach in North American sports. First is Gregg Popovich of the San Antonio Spurs in the NBA.
Trotz has had excellent success in Nashville and has yet to be on the hot seat for losing his job. In seven of the last eight seasons, he has led his team to the playoffs, but have only been as far as the Western Conference Semifinals twice. General Manager David Poile is still looking for that next step.
Throughout his tenure with the Predators, Trotz has turned nothing into something. There hasn't been much talent to work with, unlike Mike Babcock and the Detroit Red Wings, but Trotz has been able to win games in big situations.
Teams and coaches have mimicked the Preds' system drawn up by Trotz and his coaching staff. The hard forecheck and defense first mentality have spread into a few NHL cities including the Phoenix Coyotes.
Trotz has a record of 511-428-60-84 for his career behind the bench with the Music City club.