Former Buffalo Sabres coach Lindy Ruff missed Wednesday's game behind the bench as an assistant coach with the New York Rangers after suffering a concussion during the team's practice on Tuesday, according to multiple media reports.
Ruff fell and hit his head on the ice, suffering a gash on the back of his head as well as a concussion, Rangers coach Alain Vigneault told reporters, according to the New York Daily News.
"We're not sure if he stepped on a puck or a puck hit him, but he hit his head on the ice," Vigneault said. "We had to take him off the ice. He went to the hospital.
"He's got a pretty big gash with some stitches in the back of his head. He's been diagnosed with a concussion, so he's going to be out for a couple of days. He should be back (Thursday) and fine. I talked to him (Tuesday) night, I talked to him again today. He's back to his perky self. He was just a little dazed yesterday. It was just an unfortunate accident."
It wasn't the first time Ruff was injured during a practice.
Ruff suffered three broken ribs after a collision with defenseman Jordan Leopold during practice on Feb. 6, 2012.
It came during the final minutes of practice in what was then First Niagara Center. Forward Ville Leino and Leopold were engaged in a 1-on-1 drill when Leopold lost his balance, slid to the ice on his stomach and hit his coach from behind.
Ruff landed on his back, hitting the ice hard, and yelled out in pain, according to a News account published at the time.
"That was pretty scary to be honest," then-captain Jason Pominville said. "Fortunately he didn't hit his head but he could have easily hit it. It looks like he's pretty sore. It's never fun when you see something happen like that. Especially his back was turned and he couldn't see what was going on."
Ruff, who coached the Sabres from 1997 to 2013, joined the Rangers coaching staff as a defensive assistant this season.