Ralph Krueger has a new job.
The Sabres on Wednesday announced Krueger will replace Phil Housley as the team’s head coach.
We found our guy.
Welcome to Buffalo, Coach Krueger! pic.twitter.com/uJEnxca8XV
— Buffalo Sabres (@BuffaloSabres) May 15, 2019
“Throughout his career, Ralph has shown the ability to adapt to a variety of high-pressure environments while leading some of the world’s elite players,” Sabres general manager Jason Botterill said in a statement. “His strong communication skills, leadership and diverse background make him a uniquely qualified candidate to lead our team going forward.”
Krueger, 59, previously coached the Oilers in 2012-13. He finished his time in Edmonton with a 19-22-7 record and did not make the playoffs. But, he has had success on the international stage as coach of Team Europe at the 2016 World Cup of Hockey. The team made it all the way to the championship game, where it ultimately fell to Team Canada.
Recently, Krueger had been serving as the chairman of the Southampton Football Club in the English Premier League. He held that position for six seasons before being dismissed by the team last month.
“I am excited and honored to join the Buffalo Sabres family and will strive to maximize the potential that lies within this team,” Krueger said. “I look forward to building on the many positives that have been established within the organization and I am especially eager to get behind the bench and represent this passionate hockey city.”
Buffalo is hoping for a fresh start with Krueger after failing to make the playoffs for almost the entire last decade, including two seasons under Housley.
Housley was fired at the beginning of April after finishing 33-39-10. The team missed the postseason for the ninth straight year and fell to 13th in the Eastern Conference — a good 22 points behind the Blue Jackets for the second wild card.