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Ex-Oilers coach Krueger was fired via Skype

Jun 9, 2013, 2:34 PM EDT

Ladislav Smid, Eric Belanger AP

It’s not easy being a head coach in the NHL. It’s especially not easy to be one in a bad situation. For now ex-Edmonton Oilers coach Ralph Krueger, not only was the job rough but how he was let go was particularly unkind.

Krueger tells reporters he was fired by GM Craig MacTavish via Skype, the Internet program that allows you to make face-to-face calls anywhere in the world. Krueger was on summer vacation in Davos, Switzerland and apparently it was the easiest way to reach him.

TSN’s Ryan Rishaug shared his conversation with Krueger over what happened.

“This past Thursday he requested that I accept him on Skype so he could Skype me,” Krueger said. “When the conversation began he got right to the message that he felt it was necessary to hire a new head coach. That’s the way it went. The conversation was short.”

If nothing else, he took the bad news like a champ.

He told the Oilers when the season ended he wanted an experienced associate coach to join the staff next season which may not have given MacTavish the best impression in the first place. Krueger says he is grateful for the chance and he’s eager for the next step in his career.

If only we could all be that positive when we’re let go from a job.

  1. mrpinkca - Jun 9, 2013 at 2:48 PM

    Classless.

    • WeWantTheCup - Jun 9, 2013 at 3:29 PM

      I hope nobody expected anything less from this Convicted Murderer that the oilers have now employed on 3 different occasions. Classless organization.

      • blomfeld - Jun 9, 2013 at 4:13 PM

        A convicted ‘vehicular murderer’ no doubt …

        Well said friend. For whatever reason, I still recall Krueger being interviewed on the After Hours Show one Saturday night this year and he struck me as perhaps one of the most intelligent coaches that I’ve ever heard. As for MacTavish? Well notwithstanding the blood on his hands, he’s always come across to me as nothing more than a narcissistic ‘simpleton’ … or predictable vermin if you will. Therefore the Oilers would be wise at this point to pause and reconsider the appointment of MacTavish himself. Prairie folk are a ‘decent and values-driven’ segment of our society, who have little or no patience for ‘low-quality’ behavior like this.

    • esracerx46 - Jun 9, 2013 at 3:57 PM

      Well, its better than a text message isn’t it? Either way its just low.

      • florida727 - Jun 10, 2013 at 12:29 PM

        Beats the heck out of Facebook, right?

        In all seriousness, for something this significant, be a man and tell him in-person. Classless is the politically correct was of calling it a chicken-sh!t move by management. What’s next? A front page announcement in the local paper right after you give your coach a gift subscription?

  2. sknut - Jun 9, 2013 at 2:53 PM

    They could have let him now weeks ago this shouldn’t have gone down like this. Very classless by management.

  3. anotheryx - Jun 9, 2013 at 2:55 PM

    I’m sure the part which he still gets paid after being fired makes the news a little bit easier to swallow.

  4. pmonte3122 - Jun 9, 2013 at 2:56 PM

    Wait until he gets back first… You could have waited haha now you look like an idiot. What coach wants to work for him now ? I wouldn’t be surprised to see him try to hire people over Skype.

    • 19to77 - Jun 9, 2013 at 4:51 PM

      Dallas Eakins, apparently, for some reason I doubt I’ll ever understand. Poor guy has no idea what he’s getting himself into.

  5. einjzmolf - Jun 9, 2013 at 3:04 PM

    Beep boop boop.. beep boo beep! YA FIYED!

  6. icelovinbrotha215 - Jun 9, 2013 at 3:42 PM

    Social media has the remove the human side of communication.

  7. valoisjoeybfeld69 - Jun 9, 2013 at 4:53 PM

    No! No! You’ve got it all wrong! Oilers need to cut down on expenses to pay Eakins so they decided to cut down on long distance calls. hahahaha! What a bonehead way to can a coach?

  8. jcmeyer10 - Jun 9, 2013 at 4:59 PM

    The Oilers are making themselves look like a franchise the best coaches would like to work for…

  9. sheckyrimshot - Jun 9, 2013 at 5:56 PM

    i dont know what all the fuss is about. which option would you take?

    a) go on vacation, get called back to edmonton by boss who promptly fires you
    b) go on vacation, get skyped by boss who says “you’re fired. here’s a nice buyout clause. stay in switzerland for another week. you don’t have to live in edmonton anymore.”

    • hockeyflow33 - Jun 9, 2013 at 8:09 PM

      I think the issue lies in that the management had to have known weeks ago that they were going in a different direction and they waited until the coach was on vacation to do it in one of the least personable ways possible.

    • joebone - Jun 10, 2013 at 11:09 AM

      I’m with shecky; who cares? When you get fired, should you really care if they do it in a classy way? Quit whining, enjoy your buyout, and welcome to the new millenium.

  10. banger60 - Jun 9, 2013 at 5:56 PM

    I guess it beats Pony Express!

  11. nigelben - Jun 9, 2013 at 7:45 PM

    Just goes to show how low and classless the Oilers have become under Lowe and MacT. They put together this garbage a few years ago and now they are going to roll in it. I truly hope they fail to make the playoffs again and Lowe will finally get what is due him (even though he is a proven winner even though he was just a bit player on those teams)

  12. kicksave1980 - Jun 10, 2013 at 3:30 AM

    I really don’t understand the Oilers front office at all. I watch a lot of Oilers games since I like Khabibulin, and being in the Eastern time zone, it’s nice to have a late game to watch.

    The Oilers have convinced themselves and their fans that they can draft one-way forwards and build a winner from the front. This isn’t an indictment on guys like Hall, Eberle, and RNH. They are good players with tons of potential. But aside from Smid, their defense is terrible. Jeff Schultz is young, but he’s primarily offensive at the point. Their window to build a winner is smaller than they think in the salary cap era, and frustration/negativity is already creeping in with the kids there….Hall blaming the fans’ booing for their poor play last season. They routinely hang their goalies out to dry, but blame them for allowing goals.

    Point of all of that is this. The team clearly isn’t as good as what they’re trying to sell to the Oilers fans/themselves. They gave Ralph Kreuger ONE season (a shortened one at that) to rebuild a train wreck. Keep telling the “kids” that it isn’t their fault…keep giving them an excuse. Blame the coach, blame the fans for booing, blame everyone but yourselves. That’s a surefire way to turn things around. If I was Sam Gagner, I’d be requesting an immediate trade. He’s the only one who looks like he gives a sh*t half of the time.

  13. bruinboosters - Jun 10, 2013 at 12:29 PM

    The same thing happened to Marty McFly and his career never recovered.

  14. mfinneran - Jun 10, 2013 at 1:03 PM

    This is a dead franchise!

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