Ralph Krueger’s time as the Buffalo Sabres coach came to an end on March 17. After the club hit a 12-game losing streak, the organization had seen enough. They dismissed Krueger and promoted Don Granato to interim head coach.
Granato has had success coaching in the ECHL and AHL but has yet to coach an NHL game. Meanwhile, interim head coaches don’t always get the full-time head coaching job. Depending on how Granato performs for the rest of the season, the Sabres may look to hire someone else during the offseason.
According to BetOnline, Columbus Blue Jackets head coach John Tortorella is the most likely candidate if Granato is unsuccessful. Tortorella has +300 odds of being the next full-time Buffalo Sabres coach.
Who Will Be the Next Buffalo Sabres Coach?
Odds via BetOnline as of Wednesday, March 17
- John Tortorella +300
- Bruce Boudreau +350
- Guy Boucher +400
- Gerard Gallant +500
- Rick Tocchet +600
- Scott Arniel +700
- Mike Yeo +800
- Claude Julien +900
Is Tortorella Going to Buffalo?
John Tortorella has coached the Blue Jackets since 2016 and has made the playoffs each year. Unfortunately, the team hasn’t made it past the second round. They’re also 3-5-2 in their last 10 games and are heading down the standings. With a lack of success to show in Columbus, Tortorella could be out the door soon. Could he end up as the next Buffalo Sabres coach?
While Tortorella (+300) may be on the hot seat this season, don’t forget that he has the most wins by an American-born NHL coach at 666. He’s also won the 2003-04 NHL Stanley Cup and two Jack Adams Awards for the best coach in the league. With a resume like that, Tortorella would add legitimacy to the Sabres’ bench.
Boudreau Could Be Next Buffalo Sabres Coach
At the end of February 2021, Bruce Boudreau was listed as one of the potential coaches for the Seattle Kraken expansion team. He’s been out of a job since the Minnesota Wild fired him back in the 2019-20 season. However, at +350, he could be the next Buffalo Sabres coach if the team truly wants to make the playoffs.
Boudreau has yet to win the Stanley Cup, but he’s made the playoffs 10 times in the 14 seasons he’s coached. In 2014-15, he coached the Anaheim Ducks to be within one win from the Stanley Cup Finals. His success may be spotty, but Boudreau could help the Sabres make the playoffs for the first time in 10 years.
Boucher Another Option for Buffalo
Guy Boucher (+400) is another candidate to be the next full-time Buffalo Sabres coach next season. Recently, he was listed as possibly being the next Montreal Canadiens head coach, so it’s clear his services are in demand. While he may not be as seasoned as Tortorella or Boudreau, Boucher has had NHL success. In six seasons as an NHL coach, Boucher has made it to the Eastern Conference Finals twice, amassing a 22-15 playoff record.
On the other hand, the problem with Boucher is that he doesn’t seem like a permanent solution. He only spent three seasons with each of the Tampa Bay Lightning and Ottawa Senators, making the playoffs in each of his first seasons before getting fired in the third. Maybe his third time coaching will be the charm. Either way, if the Sabres hire Boucher, they’ll want to make sure that he brings long-term success this time.