Ruff, 53, is 12th all-time with 571 wins. He compiled a record of 571-432-84, with 78 ties, in 15 seasons as coach of the Buffalo Sabres, a tenure that ended when he was fired Feb. 20.
"I am honored to be joining the Dallas Stars organization," Ruff said in a statement announcing the hiring. "After speaking at length with Jim Nill, it was clear that all the right pieces are coming together to return this club to the upper-echelon of the NHL. I look forward to leading its resurgence."
He guided the Sabres to the Stanley Cup Playoffs eight times in 14 full seasons, including a trip to the 1999 Stanley Cup Final -- a series his Sabres lost to the Stars -- and back-to-back trips to the Eastern Conference Final in 2006 and 2007. He won the Jack Adams Award as the League's coach of the year in 2006. He replaces Glen Gulutzan, who had been fired May 21.
"One of the trademarks of successful organizations is their ability to have continuity and stability for an extended period of time," Stars general manager Jim Nill said in a statement announcing the hiring. "It is clear from Lindy's record, and from our own conversations, that we have found the right person to provide that stability and lead this club to the next level. His steady hand and experience will prove invaluable in returning our team as a top-tier contender in the NHL."
In addition to his NHL success, Ruff also has been successful coaching internationally. He won a gold medal as an associate coach for Canada at the 2010 Olympics, won a silver medal coaching Canada at the 2009 IIHF World Championship and also coached Canada at the 2013 Worlds."
Mike Heika, as Mike Heika does, nailed why this shared vision is important to the Stars:
With the bankruptcy of Hicks Sports Group and the change of ownership to Tom Gaglardi in 2011, the Stars are on their fourth GM and about to get their fourth coach since 2006. That’s a whirlwind ride, and it clearly has not resulted in success; the Stars have missed the playoffs for five straight seasons. So Nill has been preaching consistency and patience and culture, and it’s a sermon that Ruff understands quite well.
You don’t stay in one place that long without some pretty solid people skills, and you don’t exit a place like that without a good deal of experience. So when a season is coming down to the final game, you’ve been there before. When a player is in a slump, you’ve been there before. When the rules of the games are changing and you have to adapt, you’ve been there before."