The Buffalo Sabers have appointed Ralph Krueger as the next head coach, hoping to end an eight-year playoff drought, the team said Wednesday.
The 59-year-old Krueger trained the Edmonton Oilers during the lockout of the NHL. shortened season 2012-13. He was sacked by the team on Skype after the youthful Oilers rallied on 22/22/7/7/7/7/7/7/7/7/7/7/7/7 , "Throughout his career, Ralph has demonstrated his ability to adapt to a variety of high-pressure environments while leading some of the world's best players," said Jason Botterill, General Manager of Sabers, in a statement. "His strong communication skills, leadership skills and diverse background make him a uniquely qualified candidate to lead our team."
Krueger returns to the NHL after spending the last five years as chairman of the English Premier League football team Southampton FC. Krueger was born in Winnipeg, Manitoba, and played professional hockey in Germany from 1
He replaces Phil Housley, who was fired after two seasons. Last season, Buffalo won just 16 of his last 57 games after a 10-game winning streak in November.
With 13th place in the Eastern Conference, the Sabers joined the Philadelphia Flyers 2016-17 as the only team in NHL history to miss the playoffs in a season in which they have won at least 10 games in a row.
The drought in the Sabers playoffs represents the longest active series in the NHL.
Krueger said he will "strive to maximize the potential of the Sabers" and is "eager to step behind the bench and this to represent a passionate hockey town. "
The hiring came when Botterill returned to Buffalo this week for a series of client meetings. He was active in Slovakia as a member of the executive team of the Canadian national team, which participated in the World Championships.
Krueger's experience includes winning second place for Team Europe at the 2016 Hockey World Cup. He also served as a special adviser to the Canadian national team when they won gold at the 2014 Sochi Games.
He is known as an innovator in hockey strategies, promotion of junior talent and motivator. In 2014 he wrote a book titled "Team Life: Over Defeats to Success," which roughly means "By defeat to success."
Krueger's Attitude Enables Botterill to Focus His Attention on the Sabers "The Next Necessary Off-season Need: Make a Recurring Offer" Jeff Skinner before entering the free-agent market on July 1st , and he scored the best and team-leading 40 goals in 82 games last season.
Although Skinner and the Sabers have been conducting contract negotiations since January, the team decided to postpone further discussions until after his trainer's quest. When Skinner cleared his locker in April, Skinner did not rule out a new signing with the Sabers, but added that he did not want to rush his decision.
Krueger becomes fifth team coach since Lindy Ruff was fired in February 2013 None of Ruff's substitutions has taken more than two seasons.
The Sabers are in the middle of the worst part of the franchise history. They have finished last in three out of the last six seasons and have not won a playoff series since 2007, when they lost to the Ottawa Senators in the Eastern Conference final.
Krueger inherits a team lacking in chemistry and who has one struggling to build on the foundation of several talented young players, including captain Jack Eichel and defender Rasmus Dahlin, the first player selected in the draft last year ,
The latest shock occurs two years after Botterill's tenure as first-time general manager, and his decision to shut down Housley proved bankrupt.
Although Botterill said blaming Buffalo's collapse deserved to be shared among the players and himself, he added that it became apparent that the team did not respond to Housley.
19659002] "Unfortunately, the news did not come through," Botterill said as he fired the coach the day after the season's end of the Sabers.
At Skinner, Eichel, the second hit was a problem and Sam Reinhart, who scored 90 of Buffalo's 226 goals last season. The Sabers also committed far too many defensive rounds for a team coached by a Hall of Fame defender.
Housley's biggest failure was the inability to persuade the Sabers to get used to the creative, swift style that was based on defenders jumping into the hall rush.
The Associated Press has contributed to this report.