Ralph Krueger was formally introduced as the new head coach of the Buffalo Sabres at KeyBank Center Wednesday.
Krueger last coached in the NHL behind the bench of the Edmonton Oilers during the lockout-shortened 2012-2013 season. More recently, he coached the Swiss National Hockey team for from 1997 to 2010.
Krueger said he prides himself on providing an honest atmosphere in the locker room.
“I think every coach, every leader on the planet is unique and it’s important to be authentic, to be yourself,” he said. “I’m not going to compare myself to anyone, but you’re always going to get the real deal.”
Krueger said open dialogue between players and coaches is part of his process. He will begin next season with plenty of young talent on the bench, including Sam Reinhart and Jack Eichel. Whether unrestricted free agent Jeff Skinner will be part of the mix remains to be seen.
Sabres General Manager Jason Botterill took questions from reporters regarding Skinner. Playing left wing, Skinner scored 40 goals for Buffalo last season. Botterill says there haven’t been any problems during contract negotiations.
“All I can say is that it’s been very positive on both sides,” he said. “I’ve respected how they’ve handled it, I think they’ve respected how we’ve handled the situation. We’ve clearly shown that this is a priority.”
Botterill said he remains optimistic a deal will get done.