DALLAS - Get ready for a culture shock.

Lindy Ruff is the new head coach of the Dallas Stars. He has spent 26 years, nearly half his life, with the Buffalo Sabres organization, first as a player and then as head coach. Now, he's coming to Texas.

The Dallas Stars made the announcement of Ruff's hiring on Friday morning.

Most Stars fans know Ruff as the head coach of the 1999 Sabres, the team Dallas beat to win the Stanley Cup Final when Brett Hull scored his controversial goal in the third overtime.

Ruff never took Buffalo to the finals again, but did come close. The Sabres reached the Eastern Conference finals in 2006 and again in 2007 before losing to Carolina and Ottawa.

He spent nearly 16 years coaching the same team, and before Buffalo relieved him of his coaching duties in February, Ruff was behind only Gregg Popovich for the longest tenured coach for one team in any of the four major North American sports.

takes over for Glen Gulutzan, who was fired in May by new General Manager Jim Nill. There have been big changes with the Stars organization since the season ended, including a new logo and new uniforms.

After missing the playoffs five years running, maybe a culture shock is just what the Stars need.

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