The Buffalo Sabres fired a good chunk of their hockey operations department last week, and in the process made Kevyn Adams the ninth general manager in franchise history.
Despite not having any experience in the National Hockey League as a front office executive, Adams will now be a leading voice making hockey decisions for the organization, along with head coach Ralph Krueger.
However, NHL insider John Shannon believes that Krueger’s role with the Sabres could grow in the coming future, more than just being the head coach of the team..
Shannon explained his reasoning on Tuesday when he joined Schopp and the Bulldog on WGR.
Here is some of what he had to say:
Shannon on Kevyn Adams being named general manager in Buffalo:
“I think Kevyn Adams might have the biggest job in the National Hockey League right now. Plus, trying to rebuild a scouting staff, whatever that scouting staff is supposed to look like. I don’t view this just on Kevyn Adams’ plate. I see the imprint of Ralph Krueg er on this too. I think it’s going to be a 1-2 punch, I think it will always be a 1-2 punch. Kevyn’s experiences in the league and his experiences on the business side may help him, but it’s going to be Krueger’s hockey sense that will be the difference.”
Shannon on Ralph Krueger’s role growing down the road:
“It would not surprise me within 24 months that Ralph Krueger is the President of Hockey Operations. It would not. He has a strong suit in that management, and I also think that he has the ability to maybe solve a bit of those morale issues that the organization has right now. I do think there’s a bigger role for Krueger than just being the head coach. He may just want to be the head coach, but I think at a certain point, Terry and Kim [Pegula] may say, ‘You know what? This guy might have a better, different role in our organization if we expect to succeed.'”
Shannon on the Sabres’ roster moves this offseason:
“I think that Krueger will say, ‘You know what, I can make [Rasmus Ristolainen] a better player. There are some guys that I want out,’ but there are some guys that I think have received some criticism that Krueger will think he can fix. Ristolainen at the top of the list. From that point of view, I think that it’s just too early to say.”
Shannon also talked about the NHL’s Return To Play plan and why he’s pessimistic that the season will finish at all. You can listen to the entire interview below: