Lindy Ruff coached the Sabres for 15 seasons prior to being fired in February. (Bill Wippert/NHL/Getty Images)
The Dallas Stars are lining up Lindy Ruff as the team's next head coach, Stars president Jim Lites said at a luncheon in Fort Worth, according to the Fort Worth Star-Telegram.
Lites told the audience he shook Ruff's hand prior to the luncheon and -- barring any unforeseen circumstances -- the former Buffalo Sabres head coach would sign with the Stars.
From the Star-Telegram:
"It's (general manager) Jim Nill's play. He's done an exhaustive review of talking to several candidates, at least 10, about coaching the Stars. Lindy Ruff is in town meeting with Jim. I saw him as I was leaving the Stars Center. He's a guy I've known and always respected,” Lites said.
“We respect Lindy a lot. I think he would be a great fit for us. I don't think the deal is done, but it would be a good thing for the Dallas Stars if he is hired,” Lites added. “I don't think there is anything standing in the way of it other than getting Jim and Lindy together on money."
The Dallas Morning News reports while the Stars did have a second interview with Ruff on Thursday, the team is not ready to announce their new coach.
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Ruff, 53, coached the Sabres for 15 seasons and had a 571-432-162 record before being fired in February. He coached against the Stars in the 1999 Stanley Cup Finals and later won the Jack Adams Award as the NHL's coach of the year in 2006.
The Stars have been looking for a new head coach after new general manager Jim Nill did not bring back Glen Gulutzan