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Former Buffalo Sabres captain Mike Ramsey has agreed to become an assistant to Sabres coach Lindy Ruff, the team announced, confirming a Buffalo News story in Thursday afternoon's editions.

"Mike's all-star and international experience from his many years in the National Hockey League is testimony to the type of defenseman he was, which is a perfect fit for this team," Ruff said in a prepared statement.

"He will help build our defense into a strong unit while instilling into our team the type of work ethic, character, and integrity he had during his playing career."

Ramsey and Ruff entered the NHL in 1979 as club's the Nos. 1 and 2 picks, respectively. A member of the 1980 gold-medal winning U.S. Olympic hockey team, Ramsey played 17 NHL seasons (nearly 14 with the Sabres) and in his prime was considered one of the premier defensive defensemen the NHL has ever known.

He was traded to the Pittsburgh Penguins during the 1992-93 season and later was traded to the Detroit Red Wings, were he finished his career.

Despite that long career, Ramsey never won a Stanley Cup. He went to Pittsburgh just after its run of two straight and retired from the Wings before they won it this season.

Ramsey played in four NHL All-Star games (1982, 1983, 1985, 1986) and the legendary Rendez-vous '87, a two-game series with the Soviet National team that replaced the All-Star game that season. He was twice voted Sabres MVP by his teammates.

The Sabres are known to be interviewing other candidates. Among the names on their list are former head coaches Bob Berry, Bob Murdoch and Terry O'Reilly.

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