AMHERST, NY (WKBW) - Lindy Ruff can't stay off the ice. As the NHL lockout rolls on, the head coach of the Buffalo Sabres laced up the skates on Tuesday to lead the Buffalo Junior Sabres practice at Northtown Center.
During his first on-camera interview since the lockout started, Ruff told Eyewitness Sports Anchor Shawn Stepner he has been in contact with his locked out Sabres players. He says he can chat with them, just not about hockey related issues.
"Both sides are anxious to go. Both sides would rather be playing," said Ruff. "Basically we can talk to all the players we want. The players are around. They've been skating. There have been conversations."
Even with the NHL Lockout 38 days old, Ruff doesn't think the organization's relationship with its players has been strained at all. He also hopes his players are getting the right workouts in so that his team can have some jump if the lockout gets resolved.
On what he hopes his players are doing during the lockout: "Staying sharp with the fitness, putting the work in, that they're pushing themselves that if that ten-day, two-week window comes that we gotta be ready to play we're gonna be ready to go."
"It's tough, especially being here in Buffalo as long as I've been here. Bumping into people the first question is 'When are we going to get this thing (the NHL season) going?'. Realizing all of the people it affects from all the people around the arena, the people that work there, the restaurants... really what hockey means to this city. That part makes it tough. Hopefully we get it done."