The Dallas Stars have named Lindy Ruff as their new head coach.
Ruff was in his 15th season as head coach of the Buffalo Sabres before being fired last February and will take over behind the Dallas bench for Glen Gulutzan, who was fired by new general manager Jim Nill after two seasons.
The 53-year-old Ruff is the 12th-winningest coach in NHL history after amassing a record of 571-432-162 with the Sabres. He guided the club to the playoffs eight times, including four trips to the Eastern Conference finals and an appearance in the 1999 Stanley Cup Finals opposite the Stars.
"One of the trademarks of successful organizations is their ability to have continuity and stability for an extended period of time," said Nill in a statement Friday. "It is clear from Lindy's record, and from our own conversations, that we have found the right person to provide that stability and lead this club to the next level. His steady hand and experience will prove invaluable in returning our team as a top-tier contender in the NHL."
Ruff played 10 of his 13 NHL seasons with the Sabres and left Buffalo as the franchise's all-time leader in wins. He won the Jack Adams Award as the NHL's top coach in 2006 and was the longest-tenured coach in the NHL before his dismissal.
The highlight of Ruff's time in Buffalo was a run to the Stanley Cup Finals in the spring of 1999. It ended with a six-game loss to the Stars.
"I am honored to be joining the Dallas Stars organization," said Ruff. "After speaking at length with Jim Nill, it was clear that all the right pieces are coming together to return this club to the upper-echelon of the NHL. I look forward to leading its resurgence."
The Stars missed the playoffs for a fifth straight season in 2012-13 after posting a 22-22-4 record. The team began an offseason housecleaning the day after the shortened season ended with the dismissal of general manager Joe Nieuwendyk.
Nill took over as GM on April 29 and fired Gulutzan on May 14. Gulutzan went 64-57-9 in two seasons with the Stars.