As we all know, the Buffalo Sabres named, Ralph Krueger, as their 19th Head Coach in Franchise history on Wednesday. All NHL Head Coaches have a heck of a resume but his isn’t just impressive in hockey terms, it’s impressive in terms of life!
The 59-year old Winnipeg born, Krueger, when it comes to accomplishments and credentials could be in a universe all to his own. After a 12-year professional playing career, all spent in Germany, he led VEU Feldkirch to five straight Austrian-league titles from 1994-1998. He was the Swiss national team coach for 12-years, competing in three consecutive Olympics. Mind you, he’s speaking in German so he learned a second language.
He returns to his home country and has a short stint on the staff of the Edmonton Oilers before becoming Head Coach for the 2012-2013, strike -shortened, 48-game season. He had a losing record and the Oilers missed the playoffs and then GM, Craig MacTavish wanted to go with a hot, young coach and fired him after just that one season at the helm.
Then something unbelievable happens. This Canadian-born hockey player who spent the bulk of his adult life in Central Europe, becomes the Chairman of Southampton of the English Premier League. Let that sink in for a second. He’s a hockey coach who out of the blue becomes the man in charge of the business operations of a club in the most prestigious soccer league in the world! On top of all of this, he gets a book published on motivation and while running Southampton, he leads Team Europe to a second place in finish in the 2016 World Cup of Hockey!
Known as a great communicator, the 59-year old also served on the
World Economic Forum’s Global Agenda Council on new models of leadership. A hockey-coach and English Futbol Businessman served on a worldwide committee on leadership.
Listening him on WGR this afternoon, the man mentioned walking Canalside and going into the bars and talking hockey with locals and that he loves the city and that his wife will love the city! That’s unheard of in professional sports to have a new coach name city neighborhoods, talk architecture and announce publicly that he made sure his wife would enjoy her time there.
The man is clearly cultured and articulate. His resume makes him seem like he could be a prominent political leader and instead he is the coach of the Buffalo Sabres! The question is, does all of this matter?
If this team does NOT show signs of improvement and consistency on the ice then that answer is a resounding NO! Phil Housley, also had quite the resume. A Hall of Fame Defenseman, won Minnesota State High School Titles as Head Coach, won a gold medal leading Team USA at the World Junior’s and was in charge of a stellar blue-line while being an assistant in Nashville that went to the Stanley Cup Final.
Housley, was a former Sabre and it just did not matter. He could not live up to the job. Krueger has been successful his entire life and being a hardworking, impressive human being is all he knows. He needs to be all of that to be successful here in Western, New York. Can he pull it off? Join us Sunday Night at 9:30 on our Facebook Page as we discuss this live with you and take your comments and questions!
Material sourced from Jourdon LaBarber: https://www.nhl.com/sabres/news/sabres-ralph-krueger-intro-head-coach/c-307401178