Jun 27, 2012, 12:27 PM EDT
Shortly after becoming the 11th head coach in franchise history, Ralph Krueger spoke publicly about being named bench boss of the Edmonton Oilers.
The prevailing theme? Excitement.
“We have skill in our room that’s so exciting, and I need to find a way for their instincts and natural ability to lead us to winning,” Krueger said. “I can’t imagine a better city. This is a premier hockey city in the world. I’m excited about everything to come.”
Taking over from Tom Renney, Krueger inherits a young, talent-laden squad that recently added Nail Yakupov to a forward group featuring Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, Jordan Eberle, Taylor Hall, Sam Gagner and Ales Hemsky. The prospect of having such a skilled top six wasn’t lost on the new coach, who was already thinking of line combinations.
“Nail may be playing on the left or right side, maybe Taylor in the middle,” Krueger explained. “The combinations are nothing but exciting.”
Krueger’s excitement about coaching such a young team is likely why the Oilers pegged him for the job. At the 2010 Olympics in Vancouver, he was in charge of a Swiss team that leaned heavily on youngsters like Roman Josi (20), Luca Sbisa (20), Yannick Weber (21) and Rafael Diaz (24).
That Swiss team fought hard in two tight losses to the U.S. and took Canada to a shootout in the opening round, displaying the we-can-play-with-anyone mentality the Oilers will need to adopt if they plan on climbing out of the Western Conference basement.
Krueger sounded ready to accept the challenge.
“I just want to start working on a daily basis,” he said. “I have trust in the management to take care of the big picture. I’m ready.”
- Brandon Saad brings championship experience to Blue Jackets 12
- Sharks sign Joel Ward to three-year deal 16
- Sabres lock up O’Reilly through 2022-23 56
- Locked in: Columbus signs Saad to six-year, $36M deal 25
- Oilers sign McDavid to entry-level contract 24
- ‘Hawks would like to re-sign Oduya, but still working through ‘financial hurdles’ 17
- Trade: Caps acquire Oshie from Blues for Brouwer, Copley and draft pick 73
- Voynov takes plea, gets 90 days in jail plus probation 60
- Curtains on Broadway: Martin St. Louis calls it a career 36
- Discuss: Where’s the best fit for Alex Semin? 23
- Blockbuster: Kessel traded to the Penguins (131)
- Trade: Flyers send Rinaldo to Bruins for 2017 third-rounder (105)
- Trade: Jackets land Saad; Anisimov and Dano headed to Chicago (93)
- Bypassing a buyout? Kings terminate Richards’ contract for ‘material breach’ (90)
- Trade: Caps acquire Oshie from Blues for Brouwer, Copley and draft pick (73)