Recommendation from Penguins GM Jim Rutherford helped Sabres choose new coach | TribLIVE.com
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Jonathan Bombulie

A referral from Pittsburgh Penguins general manager Jim Rutherford helped the Buffalo Sabres choose their new coach.

According to a story in the Buffalo News, Rutherford has held new Sabres coach Ralph Krueger in high esteem since hiring him as a European scout for the Carolina Hurricanes in 2005.

Rutherford talked to Krueger during the Penguins coaching search that ultimately led to the hiring of Mike Johnston in 2014. He recommended Krueger when Sabres GM Jason Botterill was conducting a search that led to Phil Housley in 2017.

Krueger wasn’t in position to leave his post as chairman of Southampton FC in the English Premier League during the previous two searches. He was when he agreed to coach the Sabres this week.

“I believe Ralph will have a very good working relationship with Jason,” Rutherford told the newspaper. “Based on my relationship with Ralph, he’s willing to work with people and that will be the start of it. He’s coming in with a lot of good players there. They’re looking to get more structure out of their team and to get more out of those players, this is what I’ve seen Ralph do in the past. That’s what he’s capable of doing.”

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