The Buffalo Sabres have a job to do and they took the first of many steps on St. Patrick’s Day when they fired head coach Ralph Krueger.
Everyone knows the Sabres are 6-18-4 this season and everyone knows the franchise is all but imploding. And pretty much everyone expects them to extend their playoff drought to its 10th straight season, the longest in the National Hockey League.
So, firing Krueger had to happen. Assistant Don Granato will step into the post for now, but general manager Kevyn Adams knows he has to find someone to fit the bill and get about the business of changing the Sabres from the inside out.
“Of course, results matter,” Adams said Wednesday. “This is a results business, and where we are is unacceptable. It speaks for itself. But it’s deeper than that, and to change the culture and to do what we have to do to get this headed in the right direction, I felt this was the move we had to make.”
The Sabres haven’t been particularly shy about making moves, with three general manager changes, five coaching changes, and a fleet of other staff changes since 2013-2014. Making moves for the sake of it certainly can’t be the answer and Adams knows that whatever he decides has to go deeper, has to be transformative.
“We have to be better in every single area of this organization,” Adams said. “It starts with me. I need to manage better, okay? I need to be better in every way. We need to coach better. We need to scout better. We need to develop players better. We need to practice better. I mean, you name it, we need to do it better, period.”
Adams is still in the market for an assistant general manager and stated he “definitely” was seeking assistance in the Buffalo front office.
Attention will now shift to the trade deadline and to salvaging whatever’s left of this dumpster fire of a season for the Sabres. They’ve got decisions to make, namely on players like Taylor Hall, and they know they need assets.
Still, Adams doesn’t want to rush anything. For the time being, it’s about finding balance. And over the long haul, it’s about finally getting things right for the long-suffering Buffalo Sabres fanbase.
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