After another loss last night took it to 12 in a row, the Buffalo Sabres finally did what everyone expected. Ralph Krueger has been relieved of his duties as head coach. The Sabres lost 3-2 to the New Jersey Devils and sit dead last in the NHL at 6-18-4. They have been shutout as many times as they’ve won and there appears to be a clear lack of effort from some of the players.
The Sabres will have Don Granato as interim head coach and he will be joined by assistants Matt Ellis and Dan Girardi. The search for a new head coach begins immediately, though GM Kevyn Adams would not put a timeline on it.
Amazingly, as John Vogl of The Athletic explains, players in Buffalo and those who had previously played for Krueger have expressed how much they loved playing for him. That love didn’t come through on the ice this season for the Sabres and the team was forced to make a change, though whether it will actually result in a better effort is still up for debate.
The Sabres will still be on the hook for the rest of Krueger’s contract unless another NHL team wishes to hire him. Many have speculated that is why the team took so long to make the change with finances so tight during this season. Hired at the start of the 2019-20 season, Krueger’s time in Buffalo will end with a 36-49-12 record and not even a sniff of the postseason.