Sabres fire coach Krueger while in midst of 12-game skid

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FILE - Buffalo Sabres head coach Ralph Kruege looks on during the third period of an NHL hockey game against the Pittsburgh Penguins in Buffalo, N.Y., in this Saturday, March 13, 2021, file photo. The Sabres fired coach Ralph Krueger on Wednesday, March 17, 2021. (AP Photo/Jeffrey T. Barnes, File)

BUFFALO, N.Y. – Firing Buffalo Sabres coach Ralph Krueger on Wednesday represents just the beginning of what could become Kevyn Adams’ major overhaul of an overpriced, underperforming team in the midst of a 12-game skid.

In laying only part of the blame on Krueger, the first-year general manager openly challenged his players’ accountability and pride, while suggesting changes to the roster are looming.

“We’re open to anything and everything,” Adams said, when asked whether he’d consider moving forward Taylor Hall, who is completing a one-year, $8 million contract. Adams said he's been in discussions with numerous teams leading up to the NHL's trade deadline on April 12.

“This is my job to make sure not only that I’m proactive but listening, as well doing everything I can to move this thing forward,” he said.

The Sabres are starting fresh yet again with Krueger becoming Buffalo’s sixth coach fired in just over eight calendar years. Krueger failed to make it through the second season of his three-year contract.

He was fired a day after Buffalo’s winless streak grew to 0-10-2 following a 3-2 loss at New Jersey, and against a Devils team that snapped an 11-game home skid. Buffalo has been outscored by a combined 49-19 (not including a goal allowed in a shootout loss) in matching the third-longest winless streak in franchise history.

At 6-18-4, the Sabres have as many wins as times they’ve been shut out, rank last in the league in victories, points and goals scored, and are in jeopardy of extending their playoff drought to an NHL record-matching 10th season.

“This is about results that haven’t been good enough,” Adams said. “This is about how do we improve. I believe every crisis is an opportunity for change. And this is a chance for us to move forward and begin to get this thing pointed in the right direction.”