Sabres' Ruff could miss games

Updated: March 12, 2006, 12:59 PM ET
Associated Press

BUFFALO, N.Y. -- Buffalo Sabres coach Lindy Ruff could miss a few games and practices after his 11-year-old daughter was diagnosed with having an unidentified mass on her brain.

Ruff first informed The Buffalo News of the diagnosis in a story published Sunday. He said he is awaiting further tests on his daughter Madeleine after the mass, about the size of a quarter, was discovered Friday during tests at Buffalo Women and Children's Hospital.

Sabres spokesman Michael Gilbert confirmed the news on Sunday, adding that the coach has consulted with team management and owner B. Thomas Golisano.

"They're supporting him in any way they can," Gilbert said. "We're dealing with this on a day-to-day basis and our focus is on the hockey end."

Ruff did not attend the Sabres practice on Friday, but coached the team in its 6-5 win at Philadelphia on Saturday. The Sabres, who have won five straight and are third in the Eastern Conference standings, host Boston on Sunday.

Madeleine, who has a twin brother Brian, two weeks ago complained of experiencing headaches, which became more severe last week, Ruff said. The coach and his wife Gaye have four children, the twins being their youngest.

"She's very positive about the whole thing," Ruff was quoted as saying. "It's incredible. Every child you have is different. They deal with things differently. She's a special child."

Assistant coaches Brian McCutcheon and Scott Arniel conducted the team's practice on Friday, and would fill in if Ruff missed any games.

Copyright 2006 by The Associated Press