With several coaching vacancies still out there, the Buffalo Sabres have added a new name to their coaching candidates list as the team has reached out to former Edmonton Oilers head coach Ralph Krueger, according to Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman late Saturday on Hockey Night in Canada.
Krueger was with the Oilers in 2010 as an associate coach in 2010 and was promoted to head coach for the 2012-13 strike-shortened season, but was let go after one season after leading the team to a 19-22-7 record. He left hockey in 2014 when he turned his attention to association football and became director of Southampton FC, having left in April of this year, although there were rumors earlier that Krueger was interested in a front-office role in the NHL. However, it looks like Buffalo is considering him for the head coaching role instead. Krueger is well known for coaching a surprising Team Europe to a gold medal game at World Cup of Hockey in 2016. He hasn’t coached in the NHL since getting fired in 2013.
While Friedman added that Krueger is just a candidate, and not necessarily a front-runner, he’s in the mix. The 59-year-old is considered to be a defensive-minded coach, he also has been known to have some good offensive teams over the years. After struggling under rookie head coach Phil Housley the past two years, the Sabres are likely looking at a veteran coach that can control the locker room and get the team’s young talents to develop properly. The two other key names that have been associated with Buffalo’s coaching search are also veteran coaches in Dave Tippett and Jacques Martin, although the team is not done in its search. The team was also linked to Swedish coach Rickard Gronberg, but he signed a two-year deal with the ZSC Lions of the Swiss NLA after it was rumored that the Sabres’ were not interested in adding a first-year NHL coach.