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Krueger gears up for first season as Oilers’ head coach

Sep 10, 2012, 10:00 AM EDT

Comments Off on Krueger gears up for first season as Oilers’ head coach
Nail Yakupov #64 of the Edmonton Oilers clowns around for the media at the 2012 NHLPA rookie showcase at the MasterCard Centre on August 28, 2012 in Toronto, Canada.
(August 27, 2012 - Source: Bruce Bennett/Getty Images North America) Getty Images

If you wanted to ask someone about the ongoing negotiations between the NHL and players’ union, the Edmonton Oilers’ new head coach, Ralph Krueger, might not be your best bet.

“I’m barely following the negotiations,” Krueger said in an Edmonton Sun report.

What he is doing is thinking a lot about line combinations for when the season does start.

“I do like to look at the line-up,” Krueger said. “I do a lot of thinking looking at the line-up. Different line combinations. Defensive pairings. And I go through the worst case scenarios all the time.”

Monday marks the start of Krueger’s season, even though it remains to be seen if there will be a lockout. Fortunately, he thinks a dedicated focus to the things he can control is one of his strengths.

Whenever the season starts, the Edmonton Oilers will be a team to watch. Their record over the last few seasons has been horrendous, but it’s allowed them to build through the draft. Now their team has a very appealing young core in Taylor Hall, Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, Jordan Eberle, Nail Yakupov, and Justin Schultz.

All the same, they still have some very noteworthy holes and it remains to be seen how successful Krueger will be in his efforts to take this promising, but unproven club, and turn them into actual contenders.

“Watch out,” Krueger said. “We’re ready to take a step here.”

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