Out of the playoff picture for the past nine seasons and counting, the Buffalo Sabres still likely won’t be expected to be seen in the post-season dance next year, despite some of the top-end talent they feature on their roster.
As such, they’ll need to find a new head coach who is capable of defying expectations after they determined Phil Housley wasn’t the man to do it.
If the Sabres are looking for a head coach who is capable of rising above initial expectations, one of the candidates who’s supposedly in the running for the vacant job did just that less than three years ago.
Former Edmonton Oilers head coach Ralph Krueger managed to take the surprising Team Europe to the gold medal game at the 2016 World Cup of Hockey despite an apparent lack of talent compared to other teams in the tournament and, as Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman reports, he is in the mix for the vacant Buffalo position.
“In the Sabres search it appears the one person who’s a factor in it is Ralph Krueger,” Friedman said during the second intermission of Game 1 between the San Jose Sharks and St. Louis Blues. “Krueger coached the Oilers in 2012-13, he coached Team Europe to the runner-up spot to Canada at the World Cup in 2016 and until recently he’s been the chairman of Southampton Football Club in the Premier League. I don’t know if he’s the favourite or anything like that, but I do believe he is in the mix.”
Krueger hasn’t actually coached in the NHL since he was fired from the Oilers in 2013.