Rangers can speak to Lindy Ruff

The New York Rangers have sought and received permission from Buffalo to speak with former Sabres coach Lindy Ruff, a source confirmed Monday.

The news was earlier reported by Hockey Night in Canada during Saturday's broadcast.

Ruff was fired by the Sabres in February after 16 seasons. Before his ouster, he was the longest-serving active NHL head coach.

Ruff is in the mix for a Rangers job that opened when general manager Glen Sather fired John Tortorella after a second-round Stanley Cup playoff loss to the Boston Bruins.

As previously reported, the Rangers also have received permission from Vancouver to speak with Alain Vigneault and have gotten the approval of Toronto to meet with Dallas Eakins. Eakins, however, was named the new coach of the Edmonton Oilers on Monday.

In addition to Ruff and Vigneault, former Rangers captain Mark Messier, who's an executive within the organization, also has expressed interest in the job.

The Rangers also are expected to reach out to Pittsburgh's Dan Bylsma in the event that he he loses his job after the Penguins' disappointing four-game sweep at the hands of Boston in the Eastern Conference finals.

It is not immediately known when Ruff will interview with the Rangers. Team officials are currently holding organizational meetings in La Quinta, Calif.

The 53-year-old Ruff was the 2005-06 recipient of the Jack Adams Award, though his Sabres squads have missed the playoffs in seven of the past 11 seasons.

Ruff played for the Rangers from 1988-91 and his Sabres assistant James Patrick also has Ranger ties. Patrick played for New York from 1983-94.