Photo Courtesy of Buffalo Sabres

Krueger Officially Introduced as Head Coach of Sabres

"I can tell you that I'm full of energy and ready to begin..."

June 05, 2019 - 1:32 pm

BUFFALO (WBEN - Brendan Keany) - While Ralph Krueger was introduced to the media through a conference call shortly after being hired, the 19th coach in the history of the franchise was formally introduced on Wednesday morning.

"I can tell you that I'm full of energy and ready to begin what should be a journey of growth for everybody," said Krueger in his opening statement. 

Krueger is known for strong communication skills, and he explained the benefits of that skill set.

"There's not going to be any games or anything; we're going to speak about the truth, and I think that's what I like to do with the players and the team - have a very open communication in both directions," he said. 

As a coach with limited head coaching experience in the NHL, Krueger discussed how his extensive experience on the international stage will translate to the rigors of an 82-game season against the best players in the world.

"I worked at 17 world championships, Olympics, world cups - 17 different tournaments where they were little capsules of time compared to National Hockey League season, but the buildup to tournaments like that, and then the three weeks within them, those are such intense spaces," said Krueger. "It's playoff hockey; it's always seventh game best of seven, and that's what your life is about in those tournaments, especially in a country like Switzerland where it was about survival and pushing forward. Just playing meaningful games was really what my life was about, and dealing with that pressure together with the players and finding ways to perform under that pressure. I think that's what the National Hockey League season is all about."

Krueger noted that he had a positive conversation with Jeff Skinner, and he appears comfortable with the prospect of resigning the 40-goal scorer.

"I work on the basis that Jeff Skinner is a Buffalo Sabre," he said. "I enjoyed my conversation with Jeff, and I could feel his unbelievable passion for the game, and I see a skill set there that is unique and can still be built upon, so overall a really good conversation."

General Manager Jason Botterill echoed Krueger's sentiments, saying that there continues to be dialogue toward a contract extension.

"I'd say discussions continue to go very well, but as I've said before, you never have a deal completely done until there's a signature on there," said Botterill. "But, I think, through the whole process, both sides want to get a deal."

Listen to the full press conference below:

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