BUFFALO, N.Y. — With Sabres general manager Jason Botterill at the World Hockey championships in Slovakia the Sabres seem in no hurry to hire a new head coach.
Former head coach Phil Housley was hired on June 15, 2017. Housley was hired without any head coaching experience at the NHL level. He was the hot assistant after a long playoff run with Nashville that year.
Botterill is part of the management for Team Canada at the World Championships, which go through May 26. It appears that Botterill is looking for an experienced head coach.
The names that continue to be associated with the Sabres all have head coaching experience in the NHL. Right now Ralph Kreuger the former Edmonton Oilers bench boss is believed by Sports Net's Elliotte Freidman as the front runner.
Krueger joined Edmonton as an associate coach in 2010. He was promoted to head coach for the 2012-13 season, but he lasted only one season behind the bench. He was the head coach for Team Europe in the 2016 World Cup of Hockey, finishing second behind Canada in the tournament.
In 2014, Krueger changed sports becoming involved with association football, or as we know it in the United States, soccer. He was the director of the Southampton Football Club before being dismissed in April of this year. His contract was set to expire in June.
Former Ottawa coach Jacques Martin is now believed to have been ruled out for the Sabres position. He has been interviewed by the Senators. Martin has been an assistant coach with the Penguins for the past four seasons.
Former Arizona Coyotes head coach Dave Tippett has interviewed for the Sabres position. His interview reportedly went well and he apparently remains among the top candidates to take the reins behind the Sabres bench.
Tippett's first head coaching position in the NHL was with the Dallas Stars. He was behind the bench in Dallas from 2002 to 2009. He led the Stars to the Western Conference finals in 2008. He was hired by the Coyotes in September of 2009. He led the Coyotes to the Pacific Division title and the Western Conference finals. Tippett signed a five year extension with the Coyotes in May of 2016.
The Sabres, Anaheim, Edmonton and Ottawa remain without head coaches.
Krueger hasn’t actually coached in the NHL since he was fired from the Oilers in 2013. Tippett was let go by the Coyotes in 2017.