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Sabres Say Regier, Ruff Will Return

March 26, 2004

BUFFALO, N.Y. (AP) _ General manager Darcy Regier and coach Lindy Ruff will return to the Buffalo Sabres next season.

Sabres managing partner Larry Quinn made the announcement Friday to diminish distractions heading into the final week of the season.

The Sabres are trying to make a final push for the playoffs but are a long shot to make it.

``I wanted to remove the issue from the table,″ Quinn said. ``We’ve got a week of games here that are critical to us and I just felt that it’s important to not have that speculation.″

While Regier and Ruff are both under contract for next season, their status was uncertain after Quinn said last May changes would be considered if the Sabres failed to make the playoffs this year. Quinn made his comments shortly after B. Thomas Golisano purchased the franchise out of bankruptcy.

Quinn said Friday he is pleased with the jobs Regier and Ruff have done in turning around a team that finished 26th last year.

He also is impressed with how the team has competed to stay in the playoff hunt, going 22-14-3-3 since Christmas.

Regier and Ruff are both in their seventh seasons with the Sabres. Ruff is the second-longest tenured coach with the same team behind Ottawa’s Jacques Martin, now in his ninth season with the Senators.

Ruff has a 250-241-77 record in Buffalo, and became the Sabres’ winningest coach last year, passing Scotty Bowman.

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