Report: Ralph Krueger the Oilers’ second choice, behind Mark Messier

Jonathan Willis
June 04 2013 01:48PM

CBC’s Elliotte Friedman made waves a few nights ago on Hockey Night in Canada when he reported that the Oilers had initially offered their head coaching job not to Ralph Krueger, but to former great Mark Messier. Today, he expanded on that report.

From Friedman’s 30 Thoughts column:

Last year, the Edmonton Oilers considered Messier, Brent Sutter, Todd Nelson and Ralph Krueger (who got the job) to replace head coach Tom Renney. There may have been more, but that's who I can pin down. At some point, Messier was offered it. Oilers president Kevin Lowe declined a request to comment, so exact details are sketchy. But Messier considered it, took a little bit of time and said "no" for family reasons.

Bullet Dodged?

Photo: Brendan Lee/Wikimedia

While the Oilers at times struggled under Ralph Krueger, who eventually got the job, it says here that the team still did well by Mark Messier’s decision not to come to Edmonton.

That isn’t a shot at Messier, who had a legendary playing career both in Edmonton and elsewhere, so much as it is a reflection of his lack of experience. He retired in 2004 and hasn’t worked as a coach in either the AHL or NHL over that span.

Instead, Messier has worked with the New York Rangers as a special assistant to Glen Sather. He’s had a series of brief stints with Hockey Canada. As head coach, he guided the national team to a second place finish at the 2010 Spengler Cup and a third place finish at the 2010 Deutschland Cup. The team he put together as general manager at the 2010 World Championships finished seventh. It’s a poor resume for either the top job in hockey operations or the number one role behind the bench of an NHL team.

It’s also hard not to look back at what happened in Phoenix after Wayne Gretzky stepped down as head coach. The Coyotes went out and hired Dave Tippett, a career coach who had 13 years behind the bench, starting as an IHL assistant coach, before taking the top job with the Coyotes. Phoenix improved by 28 points in his first year behind the bench.

Perhaps Messier would have been a coaching prodigy, able to hit the ground running at hockey’s highest level without spending any time learning the ropes as even an NHL assistant. Maybe that’s what he’ll do in New York. But it’s given the choice between a career coach who has paid his dues and put in his time (either in the majors or the minors or even junior, as new Colorado coach Patrick Roy did) and a guy walking in with his playing career as the number one point on his resume, it seems folly to offer the job to the latter.

Recently around the Nation Network

At Canucks Army, Thomas Drance grabs a point from the same Friedman column and runs with it - this regarding Dallas Eakins, the Toronto Marlies head coach who is a candidate for an associate job in Edmonton and the main job in Vancouver. From Dallas Eakins Will Do A Second Interview With Canucks Brass

With a number of other clubs hot on Eakins' tail, it's possible that the Canucks may need to ditch their usual cautious, gradualist approach to, well, everything really and secure the young coach who has impressed them.

Click the link above to read the whole piece, or feel free check out some of my other pieces here:

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Jonathan Willis is Managing Editor of the Nation Network. He also currently writes for the Edmonton Journal's Cult of Hockey, Grantland, and Hockey Prospectus. His work has appeared at theScore, ESPN and Puck Daddy. He was previously founder and managing editor of Copper & Blue. Contact him at jonathan (dot) willis (at) live (dot) ca.
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#51 DSF
June 04 2013, 05:57PM
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Sanaa Montana wrote:

I didnt't read anything of such, and I didn't see him quote any reliable sources.

Got a link to it?

If you didn't read it...how did you not see him quote reliable sources?

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#52 pelhem grenville
June 04 2013, 05:58PM
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DSF wrote:

Does anyone still think Lowe isn't the problem?

Anyone?

please sir

get over it

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#53 Sanaa Montana
June 04 2013, 06:02PM
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DSF wrote:

If you didn't read it...how did you not see him quote reliable sources?

If I didn't read it, it wasn't there to be seen. If I didn't see it, it wasn't there to be read.

Are you his reliable source?

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#54 madjam
June 04 2013, 06:05PM
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What's this more nepotism talk ? We are all getting board waiting for MacT. to give us something more to talk about . So let me add my two cents . Has there been any better year for drafting than 1979 ? the year we took Lowe if first round (21st ) , Messier in third and G.Anderson in round 4 . Almost entire caste up to round 4 made Nhl that year and for many years after . Today that would equate to about 84 players . The World hockey league amalgation had a lot to do with it .

Our first pick K.Lowe was quite the pick as it turned out - his minor league figures were exceptional /impressive . 80 points in 60 games in last year of junior - not bad . Maybe he can help find us another like he was ?

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#55 Time Travelling Sean
June 04 2013, 06:09PM
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I like Moose, he is amazing, but he should have to pay his dues when it comes to coaching just like every other coach.

Coach overseas, coach WHL, coach AHL, coach our Men's Int. team.

He was a great player, and he worked at it, what has he done in regards for coaching?

At least Krueger was an assistant for 2? years and coached overseas for over a decade, I think.

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#56 FSD
June 04 2013, 06:28PM
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Kevin Lowe's ego is writing checks his body can't cash.

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#57 DSF
June 04 2013, 06:34PM
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pelhem grenville wrote:

please sir

get over it

As soon as he is no longer the Admiral of the Fleet the Doesn't Float ®, I'll get over it.

It's a bad team and he's in charge.

What else is there to know?

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#58 DSF
June 04 2013, 06:38PM
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Quicksilver ballet wrote:

http://itwasonhnicintermissionsegment.com

Hope this helps Jasmine.

http://www.itwasalsopartofhis30thoughtswhichwaspublishedtoday.cbc.ca

http://www.cbc.ca/sports/hockey/opinion/2013/06/30-thoughts-penguins-desperate-for-inspiration.html

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#59 WhattaMike
June 04 2013, 06:53PM
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I for one like Messier alltime fpor his player achievements and leadership, just as I do Gretzky, but I agree that Messier having almost virtually no coaching experience should make this issue nonexistent.

I like of three coaches who could come on board being as associate coaches with the Oil...Eakins, Sutter, Nelson.

Bowness was considered a good fourth but his quick signing with TB took him out.

Just dont bring Tortella here...lol.

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#60 NewAgeSys
June 04 2013, 07:15PM
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LinkfromHyrule wrote:

yeah you know, other than the fact that they both have a not so great record as coaches, one of them having almost no experience at all. Saying those two are a great tandem because they used to win a lot of hockey games is no different klowe and his cup rings. Great players do not always translate into great coaches, and that is very apparent here.

I was not saying they would be a perfect fit because they won a lot of games on the same team,I was saying that Gretzky is an Intuit and he taught Messier how to see the game the same way he does,this elevated Mark to Hall of Famer,this means messier has already experienced the learning curve you must take to become a champion and an elite hockey player and thinker like Wayne was and Mark himself was.

Now remember that we are presently faced with teaching a group of young men to play a historiclly sucessfull system,but we are failing epiclly because we cannot inject enough Intuition into our stats based perspective to find the balance we need to get the proper and timely messages through to the Players.In short we are suffering a disconnect between the systemic influence and the men understanding it and how they need to execute it.

Its been so dam bad I created the NewAge Hockey System to replace the Intuitive factor in todays team,but alas now many teams in the NHL can understand this part of the game better as well and apply the principals to their own systemic influences. The system itself was concieved originally by Gretzky himself and later modified by Mac-T into something you could really define as a system,Wayne was more of a dynamic manager than a systemic player.Mac-T found reasonable ways to replace Wayne and Marks individual dynamic managment abilitys with systemic intent,ONLY because he didnt have an Intuit like they were to plug into the hole.Kudos to mac-T for the resourcefullness.

Well Gretzky,messier,and the NHS or any combo of the three all make Mac-Ts adjustments null and void,they are no longer required and we can go back to the original recipie IF we have one of these three influences to initiate and engage the system via Intuitive dynamic managment.For that matter Mac-Ts interpretation can still work as well,its just the most complicated.

This is why we have sputtered since our run with mac-T.He was the hotwire for the system we needed ,he wasnt a key but he rigged it together.

Because they won so many games together,what the hell were you reading,and people wonder why i write so many words,they are like tiny little typecast helping hands most times if applied liberally but sometimes we all miss one here and there.MYbad.

Ive got 300 words and the word-police on my ass at every corner and we suffer a disconnect of this magnitude?Jesus.

Someone should MAKE you write 300 words.Ha ha ha.

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#61 Marcusbillius
June 04 2013, 08:09PM
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If Kevin Lowe is still searching for reasons why Oilers fans and media have nothing but contempt for him, this averted fiasco is a good example.

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#62 steelymac
June 04 2013, 08:29PM
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NewAge you get on TSN I will eat my hat and leave you alone.I hope they got booster seats.

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#63 GVBlackhawk
June 04 2013, 09:16PM
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NewAgeSys wrote:

You have a selective memory there slap-happy.

Get your facts straight,I challenged the Oilers site Mods to ban me and they did just that because I outright refused to be censored or have the NHS censored and to allow site managment to make luidcrous claims like"no Oilers managment or Players EVER visit or read posts on the site" so "dont post anything directed to managment or Players" or you will be punished,are you goddam kidding.Moderators posted this crap and threatened to punish anyone who posted anything to Managment or Players,what the hell??Anyone would have reacted like I did if they had any integrity at all.I asked them if they were freaking nuts,and reminded them that everyone knows that everyone surfs the net and that was the most retarded thing they could have possibly ever stated.And what exactly did they expect hockey fans to post on the site if not comments about and directed towards players and managment.I also got in trouble for advertising the NewAge Hockey System,the problem is you cant advertise a goddam idea,but the Mods didnt see it that way man,so game on again.They were part of a suppression effort,because the NHS was getting through to the managers and players and "someone"didnt like it and kiboshed me and the NewAge Hockey System,just prior to LA taking the same data and running with it and others since then doing the same thing.

FYI you little oxygen thief,the day before the beef that resulted in the ban, I was asked by someone from the Oilers in a Private Message to my account if i would break the NewAge Hockey System and its philosophys down into a format that could be given to a large group in a 40 minute meeting because there was to much to use the way it was.I was in the process of providing that exact abbreviated version of the NHS when all hell broke loose and I stood by my principals you little Rat.The lint on my Crown Royal Bag has more integrity than you do,ha ha ha.24 more hours without any conflict on the Oilers site and you would likely be reading about the NHS on TSN and we would have the Cup LA took and likely be competing for this one still.

My words and NHS philosophys have been repeated VER-FREAKING-BATIM on National Media to the Roster Players by Oilers Managment less than 24 hrs after they were posted on that account you mention under the name Moma2.That means there is a record of it you moron,you ought to shut the Front Door.Maybe if you did a little digging and stopped trying to incite trouble constantly you would learn something new and exciting.

And if you are one of the troublemakers who keeps re-posting my posts and posting complaints ,bloody well stop it,I took a gander at just this entire article and it is just senseless man this stuff comprises at least 3-4x the volume I post,post your issues or complaints ,all is fair,but Jesus dont re-post those posts of mine I dont really want to see them again after writing them once.

Half the time the nitwits complaining dont even talk hockey and the other time they waste time and space provoking people who actually do talk hockey.

And "I" get a 300 word limit,ha ha ha.There is no justice,ha ha ha.

Calm down...the Thorazine is on its way.

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#64 stretch14
June 04 2013, 11:07PM
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A little late to the party Willis. Recycling last weeks news now?

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#65 Chrus
June 05 2013, 01:55AM
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"FYI you little oxygen thief,the day before the beef that resulted in the ban, I was asked by someone from the Oilers in a Private Message to my account if i would break the NewAge Hockey System and its philosophys down into a format that could be given to a large group in a 40 minute meeting because there was to much to use the way it was."

LOL

NewAge, your rapidly dynamic concealment of true events is striking in both its propensity for hyperbole and its diction, ha ha ha

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#66 MKE
June 05 2013, 02:28AM
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Even if this is true...I would take Ralph over Messier every day as a coach.

I think Ralph will surprise with a full year.

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#67 pelhem grenville
June 05 2013, 03:50AM
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DSF wrote:

As soon as he is no longer the Admiral of the Fleet the Doesn't Float ®, I'll get over it.

It's a bad team and he's in charge.

What else is there to know?

...what else to know? know this until Katz stops sniffing jock straps...Kevin IS his Admiral and Darryl plays with his KLOwe replica bobble head in his bath every night...ya I know it's creepy...

but that's lil D...:(

p.s. if you are going to register that thing best correct the 'the'...

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#68 Spurzey
June 05 2013, 07:32AM
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The Moose will be the next GM of the Rangers when Slats is fired/retired. Book it.

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#69 Lego
June 05 2013, 12:08PM
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DSF wrote:

Elliott Friedman said...quoting reliable sources..

Lowe offered the job to Messier and he turned it down.

Then they hired another guy with no NHL experience.

Wait a minute wasn't Tambellini the GM when this went down? What's Lowe got to do with it?

;-)

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#70 RMGS
June 05 2013, 01:43PM
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Archaeologuy wrote:

Absolutely embarrassing. I want the Oilers to hire Tambellini just so they could fire him again.

Lowe too.

How could they offer someone with ZERO experience as a coach the Head Coaching job?

These guys are running the team like its their secret clubhouse. NO GURLS ALOUD

This is the same team that gave the GM job to someone with zero experience in that position, apparently even though other experienced, qualified, and successful GMs may have been available.

So this news should come as no surprise.

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#71 Crispy
June 05 2013, 08:14PM
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@NewAgeSys

Right... I'm seeking validation from you because I don't believe your crazy story?

Not believing that the oilers would hold a 40 minute meeting based on your posts doesn't make me a liar, but those claims do make you delusional.

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