While some weren’t sure the Buffalo Sabres wouldn’t pull the trigger, 12-straight losses and an incredibly awful season was too much for general manager Kevyn Adams to ignore. Despite Adams and Krueger being close, the coach was relieved his duties with the organization on Wednesday. Buffalo is last in the East Division with just 16 points (6-18-4). and the Sabres finished sixth in the Atlantic Division last season. To say the least, Krueger’s tenure as the club’s head coach has not been good.
Krueger, 61, was 36-49-12 in less than two seasons in Buffalo. “For me, the results haven’t been good enough. I look and evaluate everything and I try to take a real honest, fair evaluation, understanding the adversity and the situation our team was in, take it all into account. But, it felt like the right time now and this is about moving forward. This is about how do we improve,” Adams explained.
Don Granato will take over 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 Adams declined to say how long the process of finding a permanent coach would take.
Many fans are calling for Bruce Boudreau to get the gig, but it will be interesting to see which way the organization leads having typically gone the route of hiring less experienced coaches in the past. “There will be a lot of people that I will speak to,” he said. “What I don’t want to do is rush into anything. … This is about getting it right,” said Adams.
What Should Buffalo Be Looking For?
What is clear is that this team needs someone that can get them out of an incredible funk and also bring back some winning to an organization that has players who could decide staying in Buffalo is not the best move for their career. Among those players are Taylor Hall and Jack Eichel. Adams did say he spoke with the leadership group today and that it’s always been important that whoever coaches this team has a good relationship with Eichel.
A source confirmed to The Athletic’s John Vogl that Assistant Steve Smith has also been fired.
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