Just days after his name was said to be linked to the job, Ralph Krueger is closing in on becoming the next head coach of the Buffalo Sabres, according to a report from Elliotte Friedman.
During his guest appearance on the Tim and Sid show this afternoon, when asked which team he expected to be the next to announce a coaching hire, Friedman was quoted as saying, “I think Buffalo is coming up pretty quick. I’ve been on the Ralph Krueger train since Saturday. I think that’s happening. I think it could be happening as soon as possibly tomorrow.”
A few hours later, TSN’s Bob McKenzie confirmed Friedman’s report.
As @FriedgeHNIC first suggested/speculated, Ralph Krueger will indeed be named the next head coach in BUF.— Bob McKenzie (@TSNBobMcKenzie) May 15, 2019
While many fans don’t have a lot of information on Krueger, he is undeniably one of the most interesting candidates to have emerged in the Sabres’ search. After a brief stint as the head coach of the Edmonton Oilers in 2012-13, he was relieved of his duties (a move that was, for the most part, unpopular among fans in Alberta). He then took his talents across the pond to become the Chairman of Southampton, an English Premier League soccer team.
Known for his leadership acumen and reputation as a masterful communicator, he is certainly a multi-faceted individual. Not only is he a best-selling author, but he has also served on the World Economic Forum to help advise on leadership practices. On the hockey side, Krueger is known as a supporter of modern analytics and tactical optimization. That, along with his well-documented leadership ability should pair nicely to provide the Sabres with what they’ve been missing behind the bench.
Still, there is a certain aura of uncertainty surrounding how successful he will be as a head coach. Despite serving for years as an assistant with Edmonton, and his silver-medal run with Team Europe in the 2016 World Cup of Hockey, his resume certainly isn’t as long as some of the other names we’ve heard throughout the process.
If nothing else, this hire is intriguing and should capture the interest of even the most skeptical fans. The strengths that Krueger brings to the table certainly give the indication that he’ll approach things with a unique perspective and serve, in many ways, as a stark contrast to Phil Housley.
Time will tell whether or not this is the right coaching choice for Jason Botterill. If not, it will likely be the last one he is able to make in Buffalo. Stay tuned.