A lingering question on Ralph Krueger, and tweets on tweets on tweets

Jeremy White
May 16, 2019 - 7:51 pm

Photo: Dan Hamilton - USA TODAY Sports

So the last time I left town, the Buffalo Sabres fired their coach. This time, the Sabres hired a coach.

Ralph Krueger will be the 19th head coach in franchise history, and I’ve got to admit, it’s a name I once thought about, but had it drift away.

In April of 2017, fresh off the firings of Tim Murray and Dan Bylsma, the Sabres were looking to change direction. On April 20 of 2017, I tweeted:

So yes, the Sabres hired a guy that I was pushing for… but there’s one thing. I was pushing for Krueger as the next general manager. So he’ll be the coach. Ok. That works. I find that there’s an awful lot to like about Krueger as an idea, or a concept. He comes with a resume filled out with successes in different walks of life. By now, you’ve probably heard or seen all of the positive things being said, right? Hey… I’m on board for now. 

It just has to work, though.

If it doesn’t, I’ll be the first one to wonder if the general manager that hired the coach, goes before that coach. Krueger is 100% the type of candidate that, a few years from now, we can use the phrase “kick him upstairs and hire ___”. When the Pegulas first bought the Sabres, they had advisors and consultants all over the place. Those numbers have dwindled over the years. In steps Krueger, and if he’s as good at this as he has been at so much else, he might find his way to a job that rises above coach.  

I know, I know… getting ahead of myself… but, it’s the kind of thing that I wonder about with this hire that I wouldn’t be wondering if it were Sheldon Keefe or Dave Tippett. Krueger is overqualified, to a degree. He’s absolutely worthy of a spot with the franchise, but the next logical question I have is… is coach that perfect spot?  

Maybe I just have too much Game of Thrones on the brain? Or maybe... this will be one.

But in the Game of Thrones, you win, or you die.



We’ll bounce around for a bit before we binge Thrones at the end, and give you my hot Daenerys take, and my prediction for the finale...


With the hiring of Krueger, I’ve decided that I am a living embodiment of the “infinite monkey theorem”. That’s the one that says: a monkey hitting keys at random on a typewriter keyboard for an infinite amount of time will almost surely type any given text, such as the complete works of William Shakespeare.

I tweet a lot, right? I’ve got tanking, and Ryan O’Reilly, Evander Kane, Brandon Montour, and now Ralph Krueger! I guess it can be applied that a talk show host that covers a franchise that’s always seeking ways to fix what’s going wrong, will eventually accurately predict something that happens.

Or… maybe we’re on to something? If so, that means one thing.

Next mission: Royal blue


This is a difficult question because you’ve got lots of different sports to figure in here, right? But I’ll give you one answer.

At general manager, I’ll take Daryl Morey of the Houston Rockets.

I think Morey could be a general manager in any sport, and is very much along the lines of a Ralph Krueger in that sense. Morey is a personnel man that encourages his own people to be wary of their own cognitive bias. There are lots of ways that the brain tricks you into thinking something that you shouldn’t, and the first step is identifying all of that. Morey is all over that, and I’d bet on him succeeding in any league. He's a heavy numbers guy, and doesn't run from it. He engages with fans and media in a way that looks good for the Rockets organization too.


There are two routes for this to take… 

  1. Ristolainen is traded because Jason Botterill thinks he can make the team better by doing so
  2. Year 37 of the “No no, Ristolainen can be really good if you just _____” routine.

He just needs fewer minutes, a perfect partner, and a coach that knows exactly everything that can put him in better situations! Sure he has value, but he is what he is, and after 400-plus games in the NHL, you should feel pretty confident about that. I suppose there’s a chance that continued exposure to Rasmus Dahlin could help him out an awful lot, but is that to the detriment of Dahlin? Injuries to Pilut, Bogosian, and maybe Montour now, have some folks talking like you can’t trade Ristolainen. What? What kind of logic is that? I have a player I’m going to move because I’m going to get better by doing it, but I have to wait now and stay not as good? No thanks. Let’s move on. And no, it’s not like the Ryan O’Reilly trade… not yet at least. The general manager has to win the deal, and judging by the way this league talks about guys like Ristolainen, he can find a deal. Some of us feel his value is low… but you just need one general manager to trade with. Find one of the bad ones, and make a deal. Or, we go into another year expecting a different result. Hey, maybe right?  

So, Door No. 1, or Door No. 2.  


Ah yes, the scourge of instant replay has come for us again. I’m going to put an OSHA counter in our studio that reads “Days without being told that actually we need more replay in our lives.” I bet it doesn’t get past a week.

The hand pass? Yeah, that sucked. Sorry. You know what else sucked? Earlier in the game, the Blues clearly put a puck over the glass and didn’t get called for a delay of game. Are we gonna get that right too? Not yet, I’m sure. We’ll decide that we need to get that right when it gets blatantly ignored in overtime, or in the final minute of a game. Mistakes in the first or second period don’t matter to sports leagues. So, we continue to creep more and more to adding replay to every moment of our sports life. It will only continue to get worse from here. We will get calls right, while never being able to experience another spontaneous minute of joy at a sporting event. I’m just not in a good spot with it all.

I'm in such a bad spot, that I'm actually mad about that one online gambling site that gave refunds on that game. That is not ok. The gambling site that does that, will it take money from Sharks bettors? How long until we now have sportsbooks that declare their own winners, rather than the actual winner of the game? It's a bad precedent, and it shouldn't have happened.


Spend some time playing around at The thing about the NFL salary cap, and attempting to talk about it, is that none of the contracts are real. Just about every free agent contract you see signed is half as big, for half as much, and at any point along the way the deal can be redone. So, I get that you might want some more chatter on the cap, but it’s just not that interesting or reliable.  

That said, the Bills have $57 million in space next year, and $93 million two years from now. Even with all those free agent signings, most of them are temporary. Only Mitch Morse projects to be a cap figure you’d pay any attention to moving forward. 

Soon enough, John Brown and Cole Beasley combined would cost $4.6 million in dead cap to dump, and it’d save the Bills almost $10 million. The contracts are… too temporary to really talk about it the way we do in the NHL with Average Annual Value and guaranteed contracts.  


Odell Beckham, Jr.


It’s quite like what the Bills did. It’s not that uncommon for it to happen, and it’s also quite common for the team that goes through it to be mocked. 


Nothing really… I’m kinda caught in a dry spell here. I was hoping Days Gone got better reviews. It didn’t and I got scared off.


They changed it! Hole No. 2 is now hole No. 1. I’d say it’s a big improvement for the Links at Scajauada Meadows. I like to picture it going down as Jack Nicklaus walks in, says "Make No. 2 No. 1" and then takes a check for $50,000.


I’m only sure that it’s not honeydew.


Ok, the THRONES-ening…. 

So many tweets about Game of Thrones that I’ll roll through your questions with my Drogon-fire takes following:

Replay is worse. Being honest, the show didn’t do enough with the doggos.  


No. That title is held by Lost and it will never be taken away. What’s happening with GOT is that we aren’t all binging it anymore. As the world catches up, and viewership goes up and up with each passing season, you get more evaluators. I can’t imagine what it’d be like if the entirety of society was able to sink its teeth into House of Cards, Season 5. That was the worst pile of trash that’s ever been put together from a formerly good show.

GOT is… noteworthy. It’s entertaining. It’s interesting. I haven’t loved this season too much, but the show is still strong enough as a whole.


Salvageable? She just salvaged herself. She finally showed up.

I think she should win. Part of me feels that the best case scenario is Daenerys winning the Iron Throne and doing it with more carnage. Her turn, as the bells rang, was a good moment in my eyes. I found it to be very real. Dany has been a strong and powerful leader throughout her time on the show, until recently. Now she watches as all her advisors plot around her like she’s a fool. She sees her loved ones and trusted confidants betray her at every turn. If she’d taken Kings Landing peacefully, it’d just be a matter of time before she was pushed from the throne for being too soft. As she hardened and turned toward ruling with fear, rather than love, at least she went somewhere. No, don't go all snobby on me and say that I don't appreciate a good internal conflict, because I do! I just hate seeing it done so poorly, and I think that's the norm lately.

I feared that we’d be watching the new Star Wars movies all over again. My hill to die on is the Kylo Ren sucks. From the first moment, he was the conflicted bad guy that just had a temper. Right? Sure he does some bad stuff, but it’s not his fault. You can see light in him! Please. I watch this new run of Star Wars consistently asking the question, “Who’s the bad guy?”

Dany decided to go bad guy. F it, I’m here for the Throne. We should have known it as soon as she found out that Jon was a Targaryen and she made clear she would not be ok with him on the throne. For her, it goes past bloodline and family. It has to be her.

So, she decided to set the advice of all of her conspiring advisors aflame. I feel like we have two options left… the Disney ending, or the one where the woman with the dragon does what a woman with a dragon would do.


Jon kills Drogon. Jon maybe kills Dany? What I really expect though, is the "all the good guys won" Disney ending.

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