The Buffalo Sabres on Wednesday announced the team hired Ralph Krueger as the 19th head coach in franchise history.
“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. “His strong communication skills, leadership and diverse background make him a uniquely qualified candidate to lead our team going forward.”
Krueger’s most recent hockey experiences come in international competition. In 2014, he won a gold medal at the Winter Olympic Games in Sochi, Russia, as a consultant to Team Canada’s coaching staff. Most recently, he served as the head coach of Team Europe, who finished as runners up at the 2016 World Cup of Hockey.
“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.”
At the NHL level, Krueger was named head coach of the Edmonton Oilers prior to the 2012-13 season after spending the 2010-11 and 2011-12 campaigns as the team’s associate coach. Prior to his time in Edmonton, Krueger served as a European consultant for the Carolina Hurricanes from 2005 to 2010, capturing a Stanley Cup in 2006.
Krueger began his coaching career during the 1991-92 season as head coach of VEU Feldkirch in the Austrian Hockey League, where he spent seven seasons and led the team to five consecutive championships (1994 to 1998). He spent the next 12 years as head coach of the Swiss national team, serving behind Switzerland’s bench for three Winter Olympic Games and 12 IIHF World Championships.
A native of Winnipeg, Manitoba, Krueger recently spent five-plus seasons as the chairman of Southampton Football Club, a soccer team that currently plays in England’s Premier League. During his tenure in England, Krueger helped guide Southampton to four consecutive top-eight finishes in England’s top league for the first time in the club’s 127-year history.