For the time being, Don Granato, a 53-year-old hockey lifer who has spent the last 27 years coaching or scouting in pro, college and junior, is leading the hapless Buffalo Sabres.
The Sabres on Wednesday named Granato their interim coach after firing Ralph Krueger in the midst of a 12-game losing streak.
Granato, who joined Krueger’s staff as an assistant last season, will be behind the bench tonight against the Boston Bruins at KeyBank ... Read the full article
BUFFALO – This is new, you know. Not only is Sabres center Johan Larsson piling up points, he’s also having fun and smiling.
“He wasn’t ‘Angry Larry’ last night,” Sabres winger Kyle Okposo said of his linemate’s nickname. “He’s having a blast. I think you can see it in his face.”
Right now, having compiled two goals and nine points in the last seven games, Larsson is enjoying a career-best stretch entering tonight’s home game ... Read the full article
BUFFALO – Instead of offering a short reply, Sabres defenseman Rasmus Ristolainen kept talking, going into detail why he enjoys playing for Ralph Krueger, his fifth coach in seven years.
By his standards, Ristolainen, a man of few words, was gushing.
“I like whatever he does,” Ristolainen said Thursday inside KeyBank Center. “I like how he communicates with us. I like the way he talks. He talks really powerfully and everyone listens. He’s kind of ... Read the full article
PITTSBURGH – Throughout training camp, coach Ralph Krueger insisted his Sabres had embraced the new ideas he and his coaching staff brought to Buffalo.
Krueger wants the Sabres to play fast, stay connected and utilize their instincts. It might take sacrificing a little offense, but in the end, he believes they can reap rewards from the aggressive new approach.
Based on Thursday’s 3-1, season-opening win against the Penguins, Krueger’s message is getting through to the ... Read the full article
BUFFALO – Since the Sabres drafted high-scoring winger Sam Reinhart second overall in 2014, the team has employed four coaches, a ridiculous number.
Not surprisingly, Reinhart, who has played 331 regular-season NHL games, has never sniffed the postseason.
But last spring, Reinhart, 23, played some meaningful contests as Team Canada captured a silver medal at the World Championship in Slovakia. In 2016, fresh off his rookie season, he won a gold medal at the tournament.... Read the full article
BUFFALO – The Sabres have hired Don Granato and Mike Bales as assistant coaches on new head coach Ralph Krueger’s staff, the team announced this morning.
The Sabres also officially announced Krueger will retain assistant Steve Smith, a former NHL defenseman he had on his staff with the Edmonton Oilers.
Granato, 51, has coached at all levels – junior, college, pro and NHL – over his 26-year career. He spent the last two seasons ... Read the full article
The Buffalo Sabres will hire Mike Bales as their new goalie coach and retain assistant coach Steve Smith, according to multiple reports.
Bales, 47, resigned as goalie coach of the Carolina Hurricanes on Wednesday. The Buffalo News, The Athletic and Sportsnet all reported Bales is bound for Buffalo.
Former Sabres coach Phil Housley hired Smith, a three-time Stanley Cup winner as a player, to run his defense last year. Ralph Krueger, Housley’s replacement, ... Read the full article
When Buffalo Sabres general manager Jason Botterill fired Phil Housley five weeks ago, he started pursuing experienced coaching candidates.
The Sabres struggled for two seasons under Housley, a first-time head coach, so not surprisingly, Botterill wanted a veteran to lead his team.
As expected, plenty of familiar names – Jacques Martin and Dave Tippett, for example – materialized as candidates.
Then in the last week, an intriguing name began popping up: Ralph Krueger, who coached ... Read the full article
BUFFALO – In less than five seasons with the Sabres, defenseman Zach Bogosian has already played for three coaches.
“Three coaches in this amount of years, you’ve got to really take a long, hard look (at yourself),” Bogosian said Monday, a day after the Sabres fired Phil Housley following an awful second half.
Not long ago, the Sabres were a model of coaching stability. Lindy Ruff lasted through three ownership regimes over 16 years. When ... Read the full article
BUFFALO – Even as the Sabres stumbled and lost their grip on a playoff spot early in the winter, it seemed like coach Phil Housley would return next season unless the team totally fell apart down the stretch.
Well, the Sabres imploded, losing 16 of 17 games before winning their final two outings. That marked the first time they won back-to-back games since Dec. 11 and 13.
On Sunday, a day after the Sabres finished ... Read the full article