Ralph Krueger returns to NHL as Sabres coach

Ralph Krueger changed his mind on returning to coaching in the NHL just in time to give the Buffalo Sabres the experience they wanted behind the bench.

Krueger was named Sabres coach on Wednesday after spending the past five years as chairman of English Premier League soccer club Southampton FC. Krueger coached the Edmonton Oilers during the lockout-shortened 2013 season and was an assistant for two years before that.

The 59-year-old said he’ll “strive to maximize the potential that lies within this team” that missed the playoffs the past eight seasons.

“I look forward to building on the many positives that have been established within the organization,” Krueger said. “I am especially eager to get behind the bench and represent this passionate hockey city.”

Krueger only has 48 games of NHL head-coaching experience, but Buffalo general manager Jason Botterill said the team’s brass put a lot of stock into international experience. Krueger coached Switzerland’s national team to Olympic appearances in 2002, 2006 and 2010, took Team Europe on a surprising run at the 2016 World Cup of Hockey, was part of several world championships and served as a consultant under Mike Babcock when Canada won Olympic gold in 2014.

“Those are high-pressure situations where you have to make adjustments, you have to make quick decisions and he got results in those situations,” Botterill said at a news conference in Buffalo. “That was impressive from our standpoint.”

It helped his case that Krueger spent time as a Carolina Hurricanes consultant while coaching overseas and spent three total seasons as a coach at the NHL level. Botterill had been vocal about wanting an experienced head coach after firing Phil Housley , who was in his first such job, but said the Sabres looked at up-and-comers as well as veterans for this job.

That pursuit led to Krueger, who’s well-respected in hockey circles for his knowledge of the sport and ability to be a tactician and a good players’ coach. Botterill expects Krueger, who’s still in Europe, to meet Sabres captain Jack Eichel and forward Sam Reinhart at the world championships in Slovakia to begin building a rapport with them.

“Ralph is a great communicator and has a history of being a strong leader,” Botterill said. “His past has shown that he has a great ability to interact with players and get the most out of a group.”

___

More AP NHL: https://apnews.com/NHL and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports

Stephen Whyno And John Wawrow, The Associated Press

Just Posted

Some students from Edmonton, Calgary will be in Red Deer to rally for Hong Kong

A group of pro-democracy students from Hong Kong at the University of… Continue reading

Hometown Hockey comes to Red Deer next weekend

Red Deer will host Rogers Hometown Hockey next weekend. Ron MacLean and… Continue reading

City spending $10M on overpass that won’t be need for a decade

An impassioned Red Deer city councillor failed to sway his colleagues from… Continue reading

Red Deer Airport looks to buy new administration building

Airport has asked to borrow $240,000 from Red Deer County for office purchase

Red Deer ranked 10th most dangerous place in Canada

Red Deer is the 10th most dangerous place in Canada, rankings by… Continue reading

Central Albertans help families during holidays with Christmas Wish Breakfast

It takes a community to help a community. And Sunday morning at… Continue reading

Your community calendar

Nov. 19 The Mountview Sunnybrook Community Association will hold its AGM at… Continue reading

Amazon says it’s considered face scanning in Ring doorbells

Amazon has considered adding facial recognition technology to its Ring doorbell cameras,… Continue reading

Ontario government introduces bill to update rules for realtors

TORONTO — The Ontario government has introduced a bill to update regulations… Continue reading

TC Energy eyes options to ramp up Keystone volumes despite pressure limit

CALGARY — TC Energy Corp. is looking at “optimizing” unaffected parts of… Continue reading

Paul Reiser and Helen Hunt reprise `90s hit `Mad About You’

LOS ANGELES — Paul Reiser and Helen Hunt thought long and hard… Continue reading

Federal Court orders Canada’s ISPs to block TV piracy website for first time

TORONTO — A Federal Court is ordering Canada’s internet service providers to… Continue reading

University of Calgary to slash payroll after post-secondary funding cuts

The government is also cutting all funding for the Infrastructure Maintenance Program

Opinion: Climbing cost of drinking water a drain on low-income earners

Environmentalists and water economists have long argued Canadian households have not conserved… Continue reading

Most Read