To be a winning team, one must emulate a winning team

The Sabres next head coach should have a resume that compares to the previous Stanley Cup winning coaches

Today the Buffalo Sabres relieved Ralph Krueger of his head coaching position. Interim head coach Dan Granato will be the seventh head coach since the Pegulas bought the team in 2011.

When the Pegulas bought the Sabres they promised a winning organization with the primary goal of winning the Stanley Cup. That promise was made 10 years ago and the Sabres are currently the worst team in the NHL.

If they want to win a Stanley Cup they need to emulate a Stanley Cup-winning team. This next hire should be the final one for years. No successful organization is changing head coaches this quickly.

The Resume Needs to be Comparable

The Sabres must hire a coach with a proven track record. They need to stop hiring coaches with “a different outlook” or a “unique approach” to the game. Find a coach that will implement good systems and has experience throughout every level of hockey.

It’s astonishing how different Ralph Kruegers’ resume is compared to the former Stanley Cup-winning coaches.

Here are the resumes of the previous five Stanley Cup winning coaches

2020 Jon Cooper of the Tampa Bay Lightning

1999-00     Lansing Catholic Central     USHS-MI    Head Coach

2000-01     Capital Centre Pride       NAHL      Asst. Coach

2001-02     Metro Jets            CSHL      Head Coach

2002-03     HoneyBaked           18u AAA     Head Coach

2003-06    Texarkana Bandits        NAHL      GM/ Head Coach

2006-07     St. Louis Bandits         NAHL      GM/ Head Coach

2008-09    Green Bay Gamblers       USHL      GM/ Head Coach

2010-12     Norfolk Admirals         AHL       Head Coach

2012-13     Syracuse Crunch         AHL       Head Coach

2013-present   Tampa Bay Lightning       NHL      Head Coach

*Career Highlights

04-05  NAHL Coach of the Year

05-06  NAHL Coach of the Year

06-07  NAHL Robertson Cup Champion

07-08   NAHL Coach of the Year

NAHL Robertson Cup Champion

08-09  USHL General Manager of the year

09-10  USHL Clark Cup Champion

USHL Coach of the Year

USHL General Manager of the Year

11-12  AHL Calder Cup Champion

AHL Coach of the Year

12-13   AHL All-Star Game

16-17   World Championship Silver Medal

17-18   NHL All-Star Game (Head Coach)

18-19   NHL All-Star Game (Head Coach)

19-20   NHL Stanley Cup Champion

2019 Craig Berube of the St. Louis Blues

Former NHL player, played over 1,000 games spanning over 17 years

2004-06    Philadelphia Phantoms      AHL       Asst. Coach

2006-07     Philadelphia Phantoms      AHL       Head Coach

2006-07     Philadelphia Flyers         NHL      Asst. Coach

2007-08     Philadelphia Phantoms      AHL       Head Coach

2008-14     Philadelphia Flyers         NHL      Asst. Coach

2014-15     Philadelphia Flyers         NHL      Head Coach

2015-16     Not active

2016-17     Chicago Wolves         AHL       Head Coach

2017-18     St. Louis Blues          NHL      Assoc. Coach

2018-present   St. Louis Blues          NHL      Assoc. & Head Coach

*Career Highlights

04-05  AHL Calder Cup Champion

18-19   NHL Stanley Cup Champion

2018 Barry Trotz of the Washington Capitals

1984-85     University of Manitoba      CIAU       Asst. Coach

1985-87     Dauphin Kings          MJHL      GM/ Head Coach

1987-88     Univ. Manitoba          CIAU      Head Scout

Spokane Chiefs         WHL      Scout

1988-91     Washington Capitals       NHL      Scout

1991-92     Baltimore Skipjacks        AHL       Asst. Coach

1992-93     Baltimore Skipjacks        AHL       Head Coach

1993-97     Portland Pirates         AHL       Head Coach

1997-98     Nashville Predators        NHL      Scout

1998-14     Nashville Predators        NHL      Head Coach

2014-18     Washington Capitals       NHL      Head Coach

2018- present   New York Islanders        NHL      Head Coach

*Career Highlights

93-94   AHL Calder Cup CHampion

AHL Coach of the Year

94-95  AHL All-Star Game

02-03  World Championship Gold Medal

08-09  World Championship Silver Medal

15-16   NHL All-Star Game (Head Coach)

NHL Coach of the Year (Jack Adams Award)

16-17   World Cup Gold Medal

17-18   NHL All-Star Game (Head Coach)

NHL Stanley Cup Champions

18-19   NHL Coach of the Year (Jack Adams Award)

2016 & 2017 Mike Sullivan of the Pittsburgh Penguins

Played 11 years in the NHL

2002-03     Providence Bruins        AHL       Head Coach

Boston Bruins          NHL      Asst. Coach

2003-06    Boston Bruins          NHL      Head Coach

2006-09    Tampa Bay Lightning       NHL      Asst. Coach

2009-13     New York Rangers        NHL      Asst. Coach

2013-14     Vancouver Canucks       NHL      Asst. Coach

2014-15     Chicago Blackhawks       NHL      Dev. Coach

2015-16     Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins  AHL       Head Coach

Pittsburgh Penguins       NHL      Head Coach

2016-present   Pittsburgh Penguins       NHL      Head Coach

*Career Highlights

15-16  NHL STanley Cup Champion

16-17 Stanley Cup Champion

Ralph Krueger

1989-90     Duisburger SV          Germany2    Player-Coach

1991-98     VEU Feldkirch          Austria      Head Coach

1998-99      Switzerland           WC       Head Coach

International   Head Coach

1999-00     Switzerland           WC       Head Coach

International   Head Coach

2000-01     Switzerland           WC       Head Coach

2001-02     Switzerland           OG       Head Coach

WC       Head Coach

2002-04     Switzerland           WC       Head Coach

2004-05     Switzerland           OGQ      Head Coach

WC       Head Coach

2005-06    Switzerland           OG       Head Coach

WC       Head Coach

2006-07    Switzerland          WC       Head Coach

International   Head Coach

2007-09     Switzerland           WC       Head Coach

2009-10     Switzerland           OG       Head Coach

2010-12     Edmonton Oilers         NHL      Asst. Coach

2012-13     Edmonton Oilers         NHL      Head Coach

2013-14     Canada             OG       Team Consultant

2014-16     Not Active

2016-17     Team Europe          WCup      Head Coach

2017-19     Not active

2019-21     Buffalo Sabres          NHL      Head Coach

*Career Highlights

93-94   Austria Champions

94-95   Austria Champions

95-96   Austria Champions

96-97   Austria Champions

97-98   Austria Champions

European Hockey League (EHL) Champions

99-00  Swiss Hockey Special Award

05-06  NL Coach of the YEar

09-10   Swiss Hockey Special Award

13-14   Olympic Gold Medal

16-17   World Cup runner up

*Information gathered from Elite Prospects

I am not a proponent of head coaches needing to be a former NHL player but they do need experience throughout different leagues. Players and coaches need to have commonality. The next Sabres head coach needs to have been around the game for at least a decade and know the in’s and out’s. They must come with a prepared system that will work with the team's skillset. After this next hire, the organization shouldn’t think about a new head coach until they have made the playoffs a few times.