Seeking playoff return, Sabres hire Ralph Krueger as coach

Seeking playoff return, Sabres hire Ralph Krueger as coach
FILE - In this Sept. 28, 2016, file photo, Europe coach Ralph Krueger speaks during a news conference at the World Cup of Hockey in Toronto. A person familiar with the decision tells The Associated Press that the Buffalo Sabres have hired Krueger to become their next head coach. The person spoke to the AP on the condition of anonymity Tuesday night, May 14, 2019, because the team has not announced the hiring. (Nathan Denette/The Canadian Press via AP, File)

BUFFALO, N.Y. (AP) — Ralph Krueger has officially been named the new coach of the Buffalo Sabres as the franchise seeks to return to the playoffs after an eight-year absence.

The Sabres announced the hire on Wednesday. General manager Jason Botterill says in a statement that Krueger has adapted to “a variety of high-pressure environments while leading some of the world’s elite players.”

The 59-year-old Krueger previously coached the Edmonton Oilers during the NHL’s lockout-shortened season in 2012-13. He was fired after the youth-laden Oilers finished 19-22-7.

Krueger also coached Switzerland’s national team to Olympic appearances in 2002, 2006 and 2010. He’s spent the past five years as chairman of soccer’s Southampton FC of the English Premier League.

Krueger says he’ll “strive to maximize the potential” of the Sabres and is “eager to get behind the bench and represent this passionate hockey city.”

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