NHL Sabres dump Krueger as coach after 12th straight loss

·2-min read
Ralph Krueger, rear, was fired Wednesday as head coach of the National Hockey League's Buffalo Sabres after the club's 12th consecutive defeat

Ralph Krueger was fired Wednesday as coach of the National Hockey League's Buffalo Sabres, hours after the league-worst club suffered its 12th straight defeat.

Krueger, a former chairman of English Premier League club Southampton, was replaced by assistant coach Don Granato after the team's 3-2 loss at New Jersey.

"It felt right that it needs to be done now," Sabres general manager Kevyn Adams said. "There has to be a pride that goes with putting on a Buffalo Sabres jersey."

Adams called out players and coaches two weeks ago, ripping the Sabres' lack of competitiveness and saying everything with the club was being re-evaluated.

Krueger, 61, was in his second season with the Sabres and finished his tenure 36-49 with 12 overtime losses.

The team stands 6-18-4 this season for a league-low 16 points.

Overall, the Sabres have dropped 16 of 18 games since having six games postponed due to Covid-19 issues.

Krueger served as coach of the Swiss national team from 1997 through the 2010 Vancouver Winter Olympics and coached the NHL's Edmonton Oilers in the 2012-13 campaign before joining Southampton in 2014, staying until 2019 when he returned to hockey with the Sabres.

Granato, who coached the US national development team from 2013-2016, also served as an assistant coach with the Chicago Blackhawks before joining the Sabres staff at the start of the 2019-20 campaign.

The Sabres have not reached the Stanley Cup playoffs since 2011, the NHL's longest active futility run.

Taylor Hall, the 2018 Hart Trophy winner as the NHL's Most Valuable Player, has scored only two goals in 28 games since being signed to a one-year deal before the season.

Eric Staal, a center obtained in a September trade with Minnesota, has managed only three goals in 28 games.

Krueger became the third NHL coach fired this season after Montreal axed Claude Julien on February 24 and the Calgary Flames parted ways with Geoff Ward on March 4.