Sabres name Ralph Krueger head coach

Ralph Krueger (Steve Potter, Wikimedia Commons)

The Buffalo Sabres of the National Hockey League named Ralph Krueger of Winnipeg, Manitoba their head coach on Wednesday. Krueger becomes the 19th head coach in franchise history and the second former Edmonton Oilers head coach to be the head bench boss of the Sabres. The first was John Muckler of Midland, Ontario, who won a Stanley Cup with the Oilers in 1990 as their head coach before moving on to be the head coach and general manager of the Sabres.

Krueger coached the Oilers during the National Hockey League lockout-shortened season of 2012-13. Despite the fact the Oilers finished in third place in the Northwest Division, they were 11 points back of the Detroit Red Wings for a playoff spot in the Western Conference.

However it is on the international stage that Krueger has had his biggest impact as a head coach. At the 2006 Olympic Winter Games in Turin, Krueger was the coach of Team Switzerland when they stunned Canada 2-0 in Group A action. The Swiss also beat the 1998 Olympic gold medal winning Czech Republic 3-2 in Turin before losing 6-2 to the eventual gold medal winning team from Sweden in the quarterfinals. At the 2010 Olympic Winter Games in Vancouver, Krueger coached Switzerland again, and Switzerland took Canada to a shootout before losing 3-2.

Then at the World Cup level, Krueger coached Team Europe to a final berth where they lost two games to none to Team Canada. Team Europe had impressive wins over the United States, Czech Republic and Sweden in the tournament.

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