Is Ralph Krueger Done With The Oilers?

Jonathan Willis
April 17 2012 01:40PM

Multiple reports out of Europe suggest that Edmonton Oilers associate coach Ralph Krueger will not be returning to the team.

Commenter Alex Mathis passed along the following link to 20 Minuten, a daily language newspaper published in Switzerland. It’s always dicey to use Google Translate, but it does typically pass along the gist of the story. Translated from the article:

Ralph Krueger's contract as an “associate coach” in Edmonton has expired and will not be renewed. He says, compared to 20 minutes online, that he once again looking for a change of air: “I have learned so much in Edmonton. But now I want to again take over a team and work as a head coach.” The question is: Where is Ralph Krueger head coach? A promotion to head coach in Edmonton is unlikely.

Even Ralph Krueger does not expect a top job in the NHL. “I have not done any interviews and will now plan my future in peace. But this much I can say. The goal is to take over Western Europe to a team as head coach.” He leaves open whether a club team or a national team.

If just one outlet were running with this story, it would be a bit more open to question. However, that news is also being reported in other outlets – a quick Google news search reveals 79 related articles, many of them in highly reputable European newspapers.

Tom Renney’s future is still uncertain, but it would appear that Ralph Krueger is decided on his.

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Jonathan Willis is a freelance writer. He currently works for Oilers Nation, Sportsnet, the Edmonton Journal and Bleacher Report. He's co-written three books and worked for myriad websites, including Grantland, ESPN, The Score, and Hockey Prospectus. He was previously the founder and managing editor of Copper & Blue.
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#1 David S
April 17 2012, 02:18PM
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Maybe Krueger is too ambitious. ~He wants to take over Western Europe after all.~

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#2 David S
April 17 2012, 02:22PM
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But seriously, what the hell is going on with our team? Krueger from all appearances was a keeper and looks to be moving on. Renney gets time to "think things over and come back with a plan"?

IS KATZ FOLDING THE TEAM? WHAT THE FU--???*

*Mock yelling. Not real yelling - it's the internet for crying out loud.

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#4 EL PRESDENTE
April 17 2012, 01:48PM
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I shake my fist in the air in anger.

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#5 DSF
April 17 2012, 06:34PM
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Jonathan Willis wrote:

Well, he does have German in him. Taking over Western Europe is sort of our thing.

Lowetide said we shouldn't mention the war. :)

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#6 Oilcruzer
April 17 2012, 05:17PM
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Wow. The conclusions drawn here without having corroborated facts are unbelievable.

1) He hasn't outright confirmed this.

More Importantly:

2) No one has ever said he wanted to spend his life in North America either. He did come over to gain experience (obviously).

Quality of life trumps the dollar chasing, especially at his age. I would have been surprised if anyone thought he was planning on staying in N.America long term.

A classy organization finds a way to make that work for both parties. The Oilers did that. So cut the crap.

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#7 Lexi
April 17 2012, 01:51PM
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Jonathan,

Any idea on the difference in salary between a NHL assistant and a head coach in Europe?

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#8 JackBauer
April 17 2012, 02:07PM
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Its really too bad. For all the grief we've given the assistant coaches over the crappy power play and even crappier penalty kill, there was a ten fold improvement in those areas this year.

This is a setback for sure.

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#9 A-Mc
April 17 2012, 02:20PM
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Dang. I like Krueger. I like the way he communicates; with his honesty and straightforward bullet points. I never feel like he's blowing smoke up my arse when he speaks to media.

I would have been A-OK if they gave Krueger a try at head coach for a year even =D

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#11 Jasmine
April 17 2012, 05:52PM
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People will always find a way to criticize the Oilers no matter what. This has been happening since Slats left.

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#12 DSF
April 17 2012, 06:35PM
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Jasmine wrote:

People will always find a way to criticize the Oilers no matter what. This has been happening since Slats left.

That'd because they have stunk since Slats left.

Haven't you noticed.?

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#13 Kevin
April 17 2012, 11:20PM
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Have no fear Buckky's still around and due for a promotion and don't forget theres still Semenko around maybe he'll join the coaching ranks after his cushy scouting post. In true Oiler fashion.....I mean they are thinking about bringing Laroque back for a tryout ?? I'm sure Semenko can still skate. Hmmm don't want to be putting ideas into Lowes or Tambos head.

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#14 justDOit
April 17 2012, 11:28PM
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George S wrote:

Big physical teams are winning in the playoffs. Oilers philosophy is wrong it won't matter who coaches this team, They draft small and they are a small team.

Well yes, most of the teams in the playoffs right now are, overall, bigger than the Oilers. But the teams in the most physical, nasty series so far this year are the Pens and Flyers. The Pens have the edge in size of forwards, but they're losing, miserably, to the faster Flyers.

This from the Flyers website:

Briere: 5'10" 179 lbs

Giroux: 5'11" 172 lbs

Read: 5'10" 185 lbs

Rinaldo: 5'11" 169 lbs

Talbot: 5'11" 190 lbs

Wellwood: 5'11" 180 lbs

Carle: 6'0" 205 lbs (not huge for dman)

Timonen: 5'10" 194 lbs

Two of the bigger Flyers are Jagr and Voracek - hardly 'punishing' players. Shelly can't play (and doesn't in the playoffs). Couturier is not overly physical, Sestito is injured and JVR has been called soft (and is currently injured). Schenn is 6'1", but 190 lbs, so that leaves Hartnell and Simmonds to carry the 'weight'.

The Pens have 7 forwards who are 5'11" or under, but most of those players are at least 200 lbs. Malkin is really big, but I'm not sure he has registered a hit so far.

I would rather not pick players like you pick watermelons, but that's my opinion, I guess.

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There were rumbling last summer from Europe that Krueger would be going back to Europe. Can't exactly blame him either.

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#16 Racki
April 17 2012, 01:59PM
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This disappoints me greatly. Clearly Kreuger had a really good rapport with the players. I really don't put a lot of blame on our coaching staff for this year's problems, and I am not looking forward to new coaches come in here and try and instill some new systems. I think that while we've all been patient enough, I think more patience with the team will pay off.

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#17 RossCreekNation
April 17 2012, 02:03PM
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No surprise whatsoever.

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#18 freeze
April 17 2012, 02:29PM
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Another classy move by a classy organization.

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#20 Gitagrip
April 17 2012, 02:40PM
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I would like to believe that our Ralph had a significant part in improving our powerplay to 3rd best overall (notwithstanding the talent was better) Can someone tell me if it was Ralph who designed the two down low forwards passing the puck back and forth to each other in an effort to get the dmen to turn their backs to our dmen during a 5 on 3. I've never seen it before and it appeared very clever.

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#21 RossCreekNation
April 17 2012, 02:51PM
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Wasn't it reported earlier this season (around the same time Perry Pearn was fired, *coincidentally*) that Kreuger would likely be headed back to Europe after this season?

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#22 velo
April 17 2012, 02:53PM
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JackBauer wrote:

Its really too bad. For all the grief we've given the assistant coaches over the crappy power play and even crappier penalty kill, there was a ten fold improvement in those areas this year.

This is a setback for sure.

Yep.

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#23 knobby
April 17 2012, 02:53PM
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Many fans are disgusted with what we have seen the Oil do with people since Tambellini took over as GM. I think he and Lowe have shown a real clueless approach to personnel matters.

Can you imagine what goes on out of sight of the press/public?

No wonder Kreuger is likely jumping ship. I wouldn't want to work for the Oil with Lowe/ST running things.

Tencer was reporting a phone conversation he had with Larionov (Yakupov's agent) today. He allegedly found it odd that every other team in the NHL had spoken with him and his client but not Lowe/Tambellini. Marvellous communicators!!

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#24 freeze
April 17 2012, 03:13PM
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Oilers Team Twitter: "#Oilers Associate Coach Ralph Krueger dismisses European reports suggesting he won’t be back with the team"

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They never contacted Larianov, but they contacted Yakupov's other agent.

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#26 Jordon
April 17 2012, 03:57PM
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well... how about THIS team? would that even be an option?

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#27 Walter Sobchak
April 17 2012, 04:16PM
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You know, I'm indifferent as to who really coach's this team, whether it's Renney,Krueger and gang or Sutter.

Unless you fix the team itself! Scotty Bowman himself wouldn't get this team out of a lottery position!

I would be thinking that Lowe and Tambellini would be concentrating on that.

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#28 D'oh-ilers
April 17 2012, 04:39PM
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Best of luck to him, wherever he lands next season.

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#29 Senator Theo
April 17 2012, 04:48PM
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The Internet also reported that Ralph's son* Chad Kroeger (Nickleback) died today - seems a little inconsistent.

*no actual relation

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#30 steve
April 17 2012, 05:35PM
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We're going to miss this guy. The guys really loved playing for him. Coaching takes a few seasons to build trust, hate to see a new coaching staff. Tambo needs to do his job and help the DEE and we'd be good. Coaching is not the problem and we need Krueger back.

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#31 ALEX STEENBERGER
April 17 2012, 06:11PM
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Whats the matter with everyone here. C'mon the guy had a few games this season. Ralph SUCKS as a coach. Trust me HE HAD WON THISE 3 GAMES HE COACHED HE WOULD HAVE BEEN HEAD COACH NOW!

LET Ralph go! While we are at it, Let Renney Go too. And Buchberger. We need a HARDCORE coaching staff. A team to light a FIRE under some of the underachievers on this stinking team. You don't pay, you don't play period.

My GRANDMOTHER could run a better ship than these BUMS.

By the way... I GOT TO GET THIS OFF MY CHEST: Mr. HEMSKEY did not deserve 4.5 of the 5 million per he received from Tambo. All we've ever talked about was this guys potential, hes never done anything except dangle the puck a little here and a little there. I wouldn't put this guy on my Beer League Team.

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#32 Time Travelling Sean
April 17 2012, 06:17PM
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@ALEX STEENBERGER

It's so easy to tell other people how to do their jobs isn't it?

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#33 Vote-for-hachem@live.com
April 17 2012, 06:24PM
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It's not about telling people how to do their jobs, it's about common sense.

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#34 George S
April 17 2012, 06:34PM
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Big physical teams are winning in the playoffs. Oilers philosophy is wrong it won't matter who coaches this team, They draft small and they are a small team.

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#35 Lowetide
April 17 2012, 06:56PM
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DSF wrote:

Lowetide said we shouldn't mention the war. :)

Best episode ever:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7xnNhzgcWTk

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#36 DSF
April 17 2012, 07:11PM
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Lowetide wrote:

Best episode ever:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7xnNhzgcWTk

LOL.

Watched it last night on Netflix.

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#37 Harlie
April 17 2012, 07:13PM
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hmmmm....Paajarvi marginalized and sent down multiple times. And wasn't Krueger kinda brought in to mentor the Euro's? Who's the core and where are they from?

I think any guy that is in the Hockey Canada system is a candidate for the HC job. It's a fingerprint in almost every move that Tambo makes.

If we were to make a change, and I don't think we should just yet, I'd prefer Tippet over Sutter. But seeing as we already have a Sutter in the org..and Sutter is in Hockey Canada?

Ruh-Roh Shaggy !!

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#38 DSF
April 17 2012, 07:25PM
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Harlie wrote:

hmmmm....Paajarvi marginalized and sent down multiple times. And wasn't Krueger kinda brought in to mentor the Euro's? Who's the core and where are they from?

I think any guy that is in the Hockey Canada system is a candidate for the HC job. It's a fingerprint in almost every move that Tambo makes.

If we were to make a change, and I don't think we should just yet, I'd prefer Tippet over Sutter. But seeing as we already have a Sutter in the org..and Sutter is in Hockey Canada?

Ruh-Roh Shaggy !!

Paajarvi earned his "marginalization".

He was called out by both Renney and the Swedish coach at the WHC for being a perimeter player and, based on his performance in the AHL, nothing has changed.

I think there's little doubt the Sutters are taking over the Oilers.

Should be a hoot to watch.

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#39 Joe
April 17 2012, 07:35PM
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Hossa looks like he is really injured badly.

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#40 David S
April 17 2012, 08:26PM
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Kevin Karius on Global TV tonight confirmed the Krueger story. Dammit, I kind of liked him.

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#41 Harlie
April 17 2012, 08:44PM
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DSF wrote:

Paajarvi earned his "marginalization".

He was called out by both Renney and the Swedish coach at the WHC for being a perimeter player and, based on his performance in the AHL, nothing has changed.

I think there's little doubt the Sutters are taking over the Oilers.

Should be a hoot to watch.

Almost as fun as watching Hank and Dank and the rest of the wannabe's from the coast fall 4 straight.

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#42 Belly
April 17 2012, 08:46PM
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Trade- 1st this year, 1st next year and Gagner for datsyuk and kronwall?

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#43 DSF
April 17 2012, 08:49PM
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Harlie wrote:

Almost as fun as watching Hank and Dank and the rest of the wannabe's from the coast fall 4 straight.

Yeah...nothing like sniping form the cheap seats. (29th).

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#44 Harlie
April 17 2012, 08:56PM
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DSF wrote:

Yeah...nothing like sniping form the cheap seats. (29th).

I'll see you on the elevator. Yours on the way down...mine on the way up.

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#46 DSF
April 17 2012, 09:10PM
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Jonathan Willis wrote:

@ DSF, Lowetide:

And I thought my parents were the only people who watched Fawlty Towers. When I was in Wales this summer there was a live version of the show that *barely* failed to work out with my schedule; I was a little sad to miss it.

Is Lowetide your Dad?

Explains many, many things.

:)

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#47 DSF
April 17 2012, 09:12PM
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Harlie wrote:

I'll see you on the elevator. Yours on the way down...mine on the way up.

As long as the elevator operator who took the team to the bottom is the same, I wouldn't count on ever reaching the top.

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#48 Gret99zky
April 17 2012, 10:27PM
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Jasmine is Narnia. No doubt about it.

I would rather Ralph coach this team than Tom.

He is more willing to make smart decisions.

And, I don't want Brent Sutter anywhere near the Oiler bench.

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#49 Bmaik
April 17 2012, 10:31PM
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@David S

Can't agree more. Interview with Igor Larionov (yakapovs agent) on Ched by Tenser. Claims that the only team to not have inquired about his client was the Oilers. What is Tambellini doing ? Kid wants to play here .That may change quick if this is the attention he gets.

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#50 justDOit
April 17 2012, 10:52PM
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Consensus first overall player hasn't been contacted by the team picking first, and there's only 2 months until the draft? What WILL they do? OMG!

Sheesh...

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