As the coaching search for the Buffalo Sabres continues to drag on, a new favorite appears to have emerged. Former Edmonton Oilers and Team Europe head coach Ralph Krueger is reportedly a realistic candidate to get the job.
Elliotte Friedman from Sportsnet wrote about Krueger’s position in the Sabres coaching search in his 31 Thoughts piece this week.
Today, he spoke on The Instigators on WGR550 and gave more insight on the likelihood of the 59-year-old being hired.
Friedman on Ralph Krueger - I have had people tell me that I'm under-selling this and that talks are further along than we thought. If this hiring does happen, it may happen some time later this week. I think he has a legitimate shot at the job. #Sabres— WGR 550 (@WGR550) May 13, 2019
Krueger last coached in the NHL for the Oilers in the lockout shortened season. His club went 19-22-7 in 48 games. After that season many believed he’d remain as the coach, but he an odd break up with the organization.
He then returned behind the bench in 2016 to lead Team Europe in the World Cup of Hockey. Krueger coached them to a surprise second-place finish in the tournament.
Reports also indicate that Jason Botterill spoke with Krueger about the head coaching vacancy back in 2017, prior to hiring Phil Housley.
Since 2014, he’s spent his time out of hockey (besides the World Cup of Hockey) as the Chairman of the Southampton soccer club in the Premier League. Krueger did a lot of good things as an executive for the soccer club in England and learned some processes that he’d like to bring back to the NHL.
Krueger spoke with Pierre LeBrun of The Athletic and TSN a month ago about his NHL plans.
You can read the article here.
He gave some insight onto what he wants to bring back to the NHL and how he enjoys building an organization back to being a winner.
Krueger is known for his motivational skills, intensity, and willingness to be innovative. Some will be concerned that he’s been out of the sport for a few years, but his vision of the sport could be a breath of fresh air for the organization.
Friedman on Krueger - He finds ways to build successful organizations than some people expected it to be. He builds things that are maybe underdogs, and creates and environment where expectations are beaten. #Sabres #CoachWatch— WGR 550 (@WGR550) May 13, 2019
We’ll see how this plays out.