BUFFALO, N.Y. (AP) - A month into the NHL lockout in early October, Rochester coach Ron Rolston was preparing to open the American Hockey League season eagerly anticipating the opportunity to incorporate several Buffalo Sabres players into his lineup.
Some five months later, Rolston has inherited the entire Sabres team.
Rolston will make his NHL debut as the Sabres interim head coach Thursday. That's when Buffalo plays at Toronto, a day after coach Lindy Ruff was fired amid growing criticism for the Sabres (6-10-1) sputtering start.
It was an abrupt move for a franchise that hadn't changed coaches since Ruff was hired in the summer of 1997. And the decision to fire the franchise's winningest coach (571-432-162) came after Buffalo's high-priced lineup blundered through a 2-1 home loss to Winnipeg on Tuesday, drawing boos for its lethargic play.

Top NHL Public Bets

NHL Top Stories

Thumbnail Blackhawks vs. Penguins Pick Two of hockey’s most stories franchises meet up tonight when the Pittsburgh Penguins host the Chicago Blackhawks at 7PM ET.
Thumbnail Rangers vs. Blue Jackets Pick Will the Columbus Blue Jackets take care of business at home when they host the New York Rangers tonight at 7PM...
Thumbnail Blues vs. Oilers Pick Will the St. Louis Blues upset the host Edmonton Oilers as a small underdog tonight at...
Thumbnail Rangers vs. Blackhawks Pick Will the Chicago Blackhawks get back to being a winning team when they welcome the New York Rangers to town...
Thumbnail Capitals vs. Predators Pick Will the Nashville Predators stay strong at home when they play host to the Washington Capitals...

NHL Team Pages