After reports first surfaced Tuesday night that Ralph Krueger was expected to be named the next head coach of the Sabres, the team made it official Wednesday morning, announcing the 59-year-old would be the next bench boss in Buffalo.
Since 2014, Krueger has been the Chairman of the Southampton Football Club in the Premiere League.
Although limited, and believed to be a key attribute in general manager Jason Botterill’s next hire, Krueger has some experience coaching in the NHL. After serving as an associate coach in Edmonton since 2010, Krueger was named the Oilers head coach during the 2012-2013 lockout shortened season.
He was fired after Edmonton finished 19-22-7.
Krueger is no stranger on the international coaching stage, serving as the head coach of the Swiss National Team.
He also led Team Europe to the championship of the World Cup of Hockey in 2016. Europe would ultimately lose to Canada in the best of three championship series.
After failures behind the bench by Dan Bylsma and Phil Housley, Krueger inherits a Buffalo team that is still trying to bounce back after bottoming out in what owners Terry and Kim Pegula have referred to as a “rebuild.”
In three of the last seven seasons, the Sabres have finished dead last in the NHL standings, which includes a last place finish in 2017. This past year, the Blue & Gold joined the Philadelphia Flyers as the only two teams in NHL history to have a 10-game winning streak during the regular season and miss the playoffs.
Buffalo currently owns the longest active postseason drought and has missed the Stanley Cup Playoffs for eight straight years.
It was reported in 2016 that after the firing of Bylsma, Botterill had discussed the opening in Buffalo with Krueger, before ultmately tabbing the Hall of Fame Defenseman as head coach.
Sabres General Manager Jason Botterill spoke on Krueger’s hiring Wednesday morning:
Botterill on Krueger communicating with his players-
“I think players are going to feel a comfort with him. He understands when someone needs potivice reinforcement, and when someone needs a little push. He was looking for innovative ways to better his players.” #Sabres — Jenna Harner (@JennaHarner4) May 15, 2019