Was Ralph Krueger a good hire for the Buffalo Sabres?
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In this edition of the hotstove, we share our thoughts on Buffalo hiring Ralph Krueger to be the team's new coach.
I like the move. Ralph Krueger is regarded as a player's coach with a modern way of thinking. Some may be concerned he spent the last few years working in soccer but, honestly, I think that may be a positive. He'll bring a very different perspective to the Sabres and he surely has some strategies and ideas put to use in soccer that can translate to hockey as well. A lot of hires are recycled in the NHL, so it's nice to see the Sabres – a team running in motion for nearly a decade – stepping outside the box and doing something different.
Is it possible it doesn't work out? Sure, but you could say the same about all of the other coaches NHL teams hired this off-season who were previously let go due to failure and yet they aren't really considered risks.
I think this is the perfect coach for the perfect team. The Sabres have so much skill it's not even funny. There is no way they should have missed the playoffs with the roster they have. Going forward, Dahlin, Eichel, Reinhart, Ristolainen, and Mittlestadt represent some of the most offensive talent on one roster in the NHL.
When I was reading up about Krueger, what struck me is that he's always talking about offense and talent and making the most of your skill. So many NHL coaches are the exact opposite, and they get recycled all the time. Krueger seems like a coach suited to the modern game, and I think the Sabres are on the right track here.
I like the Krueger hiring. What I don't like is that he's in Buffalo and I'm not sure Buffalo is an organization that is ready to embrace a different style of thinking that Krueger will bring. Back in the World Cup Paul Maurice coached with Krueger for team Europe and when he came back he spoke highly of him and what he learned during that time. Will the Sabres brass be as open? Are they ready to adapt and learn from what Ralph brings?
This hire is good but the Sabres might not be ready to follow the lead he takes with the team. They need their eyes wide open and a mindset that is prepared to act to get the most out of this hire.
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