Edmonton Oilers

I wouldn’t be the least bit surprised if the Edmonton Oilers name Ralph Krueger as their new head coach in the next couple of days. I’ll resist a reference to “Oilersnation has learned . . .”

I don’t know from first-hand information Krueger has the job because the Oilers have been predictably tight-lipped about the matter since letting Tom Renney walk, and I don’t have people slipping me tidbits of information on the down-low like they used to during my days working the beat.

But I know I read or heard somewhere Krueger had the inside track. The problem is, media guys these days are so busy regurgitating information as their own without attribution (and without checking the reliability of it) – that’s a pet peeve of mine, dating back awhile – it’s easy to lose track. All I know is, if it turns out to be Krueger, I didn’t have it first.

Bob Stauffer did. At least he was the first guy — against a steady flow of talk about Brent Sutter from a lot of people, including me – to insist repeatedly Krueger was a contender. On and on he went, for a couple of weeks at least, on Oilers Now on 630 CHED before the rest of us jumped aboard. The first couple of times I heard it, I thought, “No way.” Now? Seems like a pretty good bet, no?


On May 24th I wrote: “Today, Stauffer is hinting associate coach Ralph Krueger should be or is a strong candidate to take over from Tom Renney as head coach. While I’m of the mind Brent Sutter is and should be the leading candidate for the job – my take is based on circumstance and gut-feel rather than inside information – Bombastic Bob has my attention. He should have yours, too.”

“My guess is the hangers-on and coat-tail riders in town will be parroting the “Krueger is a serious contender” angle and spinning the idea as their own — without attribution — soon enough.”

The above was the final paragraph in the May 24 item and what I suggested, predictably and like clockwork, has unfolded over the past couple of weeks or so. “I’m hearing it’s Krueger,” or “My sources say . . .” Terry Jones did a big feature on Krueger at The Sun. Timely. How many APG’s have we heard from what’s-her/his-name mentioning Krueger on Twitter?

With everybody wanting the story yesterday, a lot of thumb-typers are bashing off stuff to get it out there first and asking questions later. I’ve been guilty of that a time or two. Sometimes, too often, accuracy suffers in the name of expediency. Likewise, sometimes who actually gets it right and gets it first — be it Stauffer or Jason Gregor or Jim Matheson — is lost in a blizzard of Tweets and notebook items and guesswork on the radio.

That’s meant as more of an observation than it is a condemnation of the way the media biz is going as websites and newspapers and broadcast outlets scrap for traffic. Attribution? That’s old school. Listeners and readers don’t care all that much who got it first as long as they get it now. So we put it out there.

Like I said off the top. my guess is we’ll know soon enough if Stauffer everybody had Krueger as the new head nailed all along.

Listen to Robin Brownlee Wednesdays and Thursdays from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. on the Jason Gregor Show on TEAM 1260.

  • Zamboni Driver

    so we lose repetitiously, and now we (maybe) only hire associate coaches? wtf?

    hiring Krueger i’m not a fan of. what even more not a big fan of is keeping the same assistants.


    goash so awful.

    • book¡e

      So, is your argument against hiring Krueger based upon any actual assessment of the man or is it just that he spent a year as an associate coach with the Oilers that makes him a bad choice?

      I don’t know that Krueger would hire the same assistants.

  • Robin,

    No discredit to your article, but according to Mark Spector…

    How does that explain why Marc Crawford has had two interviews so far? Why would they go to that extent if Krueger already has the job? I’m not buying it yet…

    • Romulus' Apotheosis

      Re-read the article.

      The point of the article is to dislodge the idea that having an educated guess that goes against the grain early (saying “look at Krueger” when everyone else is saying “look at Sutter”), which later becomes conventional wisdom, is the same thing as saying what you are (“Krueger already has the job”)

      Nowhere in RB’s article or BS’s comments is anything like that said.

      What RB is saying is:

      1) BS was the first to look hard at the possibility of Krueger

      2) the people who now claim to have inside info that Krueger is the man, don’t have any

      3) the origin of that claim (in 2) can probably be traced back BS’s comments

      this article is about the difference between taking an educated guess and claiming to have an inside scoop


      about the ways in which rumors tend to build and multiply and lose track of their origins

  • “So, is your argument against hiring Krueger based upon any actual assessment of the man or is it just that he spent a year as an associate coach with the Oilers that makes him a bad choice? ”

    Well said. As the saying goes, best not to throw the baby out with the bath water. When a team finishes out of the playoffs six straight years and goes 30th, 30th and 29th the last three, it doesn’t necessarily follow that nobody on those teams can play or coach. Best to separate who’s who and what’s what.

  • Ok I have a small pet ( Freddy the Fly) and he was in the last meeting prior to the draft with all the Oilers’s heavyweights…… is how the conversation went.

    Lowe: “ok gang we have the first pick again, good work Tamby. Now how are we going to use it?

    Mac T: I think we should pick Murray his is big and strong and plays defense, yea he is my choice”!

    MacGregor: ” Well since we were not able to get another pick, thanks to Tamby, I think we should take the BPA”.

    Tamby: ” Hey I tried really hard but the phone just never rang! I swear I had it on the whole time”!

    Katz: ” Ok you guys settle down, let’s do it the right way and flip a coin”! By the way Tamby whatever the outcome, you gotta go in front of those stupid fans and media and tell them how scientific our assessment was of these players……..and try and not do it with that stupid cheesy grin you always have on your face when the first overall selection is mentioned!

    Tamby: ” OK boss, I will talk in circles that always confuses everyone, or should I say I will circle around all the talk and totally confuse, confound, those stupid fans………

    Katz: ” shut up I think I saw one of those fans once………man are they stupid. Now Lowe and Tamby……we’re you able to secure a trade or another pick?

    Lowe: ” boss I swear the phone never rang, and everyone knew that we had the first pick”. Don’t worry boss the player we really want is Herik Samuelson and we will pick him with our second round pick”.

    Katz: ” will he be around then”?

    Tamby: “Oh he will be around, I spoke to his dad once and he said Henrik loves Edmonton unlike all the other players”.

    Katz: “Do we have a back up plan in case some other team selects him first”?

    Tamby: ” yes we do boss, we will pick any player out of this hat………it will be just like a lottery pick”!

    Katz: ” good plan now let’s roll”!

  • book¡e


    the premise was tongue in cheek to certain extent.

    of course i have no idea if he (Krueger) would keep the Smith and Bucky.

    we are very good at staying very near the box or in it when it comes to full scale change.

  • Fantasy imaginary scenario pick ? No dad , if i’m going to be air apparant to take over the Oilers then i want Yakupov , as he will put fans in the seats now when we are still bad , where Murray will not . Good plan son .Unlikely that happened , but his kids are hockey fans after all . Recall Brule story was the expressed of Columbus son wanting his dad to draft him . Was Yakupov , despite being BPA , also the business decision to make ? I believe it was no matter who made the call . Kreuger appears to be a backup call seeing as he was not announced much earlier . Can’t imagine our managerial team having time to hire a new coach and subsequent assistants , etc..

  • Quicksilver ballet

    Missed your grizzled veterans perspective from the floor on Friday/Saturady Robin. Jason was great but Gregor and Brownlee would’ve been better.

    Bullet proof vests optional going into Jersey next yr?

  • Brownlee loves the word meow

    First thing to state is that I am very happy to have Yakkers added to the Oilers.

    best decision at this point to have made at the draft. Murray, although a great choice asd well, is not going to have added greatly to the offence of the Oilers like Yakupov will.

    Now its time to get two high inoput defenceman who can upgrade what we have now…not in two years.

    IMO, lets get on the Schultz matter first then look at the rest in trade potentials. If it takes trading Gagner or Paajarvi within a package then so be it.

    I also say to the Oilers that they should sign Yan Danis to go with Dubnyk one year while saying Bye to Khabby. Danis greatly earned a one year contract with the season he had with OKC.

    I want to say last that Sutter or krueger are fine choices to go forward but I am liking krueger more due to that fine powerplay he developed and his experience and success internationally with a weaker hockey country gives him the shot he deserves in the NHL. it was not him making final decisions with the team the last two years, it was Renney, and blame for being 29th is not that great a deal to place on his shoulders.

    Now lets get that full arsenal put together (Hall, Yakupov, Eberle, Nuge, Hemsky???, Gagner???, Paajarvi????) and see how many goals we can get this next season. wow!!!!!!!

    • I didn’t read any mention of Stauffer always being right – I think Robin did due diligence in reminding us that all of this – including from Stauffer – is speculation… but Stauffer being a bit closer to the situation than the rest of us, had Krueger’s name in the mix before anyone else called it legitimate.

  • HardBoiledOil 1.0

    I’ve seen variations of this trade equation mentioned here for weeks now:

    Maybe the Oilers can trade X + Y for Z from ABC

    X = one of Oilers weaker defensman
    Y = one of Oilers prospects that hasn’t been able to either crack the Oilers lineup or stick there
    Z = 1st or 2nd best defefnceman
    ABC = any team in the NHL

    The Oilers will have to give up something very good to get something very good in return. That means Hall, Eberle, Nugent, Yakapov, 1st rounder. You can’t expect a team to give up a first pairing defensman for a buch of crap the Oilers don’t want.

  • Cru Jones

    Guessing games once more by many I see. Lol. Yet I am one of those too.

    IMO, I like all three possibilities for the next coach gig… Sutter, Krueger or Cooper. each has credentials to take the next positive steps with the team.

    Its the veterans I am concerned about not the kids and with that in mind the new coach has to get those guys doing all that they should be year long.

    Now, paajarvi moved back to defence is not great due to that does he block shots and does he hit alot and or aggressively? No and No. he is a great potential second line to third line winger.

    The Oil should be looking at guys like Schultz, Mitchell, garrison, and may be O’brien for some heavyweight toughness as UFA players and or then trade for a couple high end young ones.

    The IMO, sign Yan Danis to back up dubnyk for at least a year and get Neuvaneau to halp Roy in OKC again.