Buffalo’s Lindy Ruff the original Rob Blake?

Relax, this isn’t an article designed to bash Rob Blake.

Nor is it a story about the Kings 4-2 loss in Buffalo last night.

It is about the Sabres though. More specifically, their coach and his parallel to Blake.

Let’s begin with a preamble…

Rob Blake was a great player for the Kings for more than a decade during his first stint in Los Angeles. He was part of the NHL All-Rookie Team, won the Norris Trophy and put up numbers that make him one of the best defenseman in the history of the franchise. He went on to win a Stanley Cup and is without a doubt a first ballot hall of famer.

Now, that said, there was one move that will forever cause some controversy in LA. Prior to the Kings first pre-season game in September 2000, mired in a contract dispute, Blake resigned the captaincy after receiving what he believed to be a take it or leave it offer from the organization.

After giving up the ‘C’ Blake told the LA Times “I take a lot of pride and responsibility in being the captain, and when you are told you might not be around for the whole season, it’s extremely difficult to do the job. Rather than it being a distraction later on in the season, it’s best that someone take it on now.”

That’s not exactly how I’d put it. And that’s not what I expect from a captain. But, maybe that’s just me. Different conversation for a different day.

With that quick back story in place, here’s the connection…

Just a few weeks ago Sabres coach Lindy Ruff was the toast of the league. In fact, prior to their game on Wednesday, November 10th an NHL.com article noted “Ruff, currently the longest-tenured coach in the NHL, not only will become the 18th coach in NHL history to reach 1,000 games, but only the third (coach) in League history to reach that milestone with the same team. Only Billy Reay (1,012 with Chicago) and Al Arbour (1,500 with the New York Islanders) have coached one team more often; Ruff will be the first man to coach 1,000 games in the NHL with only one team.”

Sure, Lindy Ruff is Mr. Sabre. Agreed.

However, what the article failed to note was one other key piece of Ruff’s history in Buffalo.

After being drafted in the second round by the team in 1979 he patrolled their blueline for more than 600 games over a ten year span. Then, in February 1989 he resigned the captaincy of the Buffalo Sabres following a game in which he was benched.

A few days later he was traded to the New York Rangers and just 83 games later his NHL playing days were over.

So, yes, their careers took different roads post giving up the ‘C’. Yet, it is interesting to think about…

Should highly respected leaders be so quick to take their ball and go home when things don’t go their way?

The Mayor
www.twitter.com/Mayor119
www.facebook.com/MayorsManor

RELATED ARTICLES:

Interview with Rob Blake – includes his thoughts on resigning the captaincy in LA

Interview with Luc Robitaille

Interview with Andy Murray
.

Recent Articles

Kings Of the Podcast: Ep. Q8 with Matt Luff

Earlier this week we spoke with the LA Kings No. 1 prospect, Gabe Vilardi. Now, Kings of the Podcast returns for an in-depth chat with forward Matt Luff.
In this episode:
– Celebrity wrestling matches
– Tik Tok
– Meatball
– Mike Stothers stories
– Tattoos
– John Stevens departure from the Kings
– Cal Peterson
– Luff’s sleeper pick in LA’s prospect pool
– […]

Kings Of the Podcast: Ep. Q7 with Gabriel Vilardi

After bringing on several guests from Kings management and NHL roster, we now turn our attention to LA’s top prospect – joining us this time around is Gabe Vilardi.
Our most recent Prospect Rankings are here for your reference:
LA Kings 2020 Prospect Rankings: The Top Three Players

We should also share some background on one of the […]

NHL RADIO REPLAY: Mayor’s Minutes – Playoff Predictions and Confidence Rating

Follow @mayorNHL
Enjoy a free replay of this week’s Mayor’s Minutes on NHL Network Radio, where John Hoven joined host Jim ‘Boomer’ Gordon to make predictions on all eight Playoff Qualification series. And for added fun, they put a confidence rating on each prediction.
They look at all eight playoff / play-in matchups:
Edmonton Oilers vs. Chicago Blackhawks
Nashville […]

Major News Items

2020 NHL Draft Preview: Quinton Byfield, OHL Forward

One of Dean Lombardi’s most impactful picks came in the form of Drew Doughty at second overall. Twelve years later, the Kings would benefit if the lottery provided the same courtesy. According to Tankathon, Los … [Read More...]

More Prospect News

About John Hoven

John Hoven is a member of the of the Professional Hockey Writers Association and co-hosts Kings of the Podcast. He is also the founder and editor of MayorsManor.com, which has been named Best Sports Blog in Los Angeles by LA Weekly and Hockey Blog of the Year by Yahoo Sports. Click "ABOUT OUR TEAM" above for a full bio.