Oilers fire Ralph Krueger as head coach

By , June 8, 2013 4:16 pm
Dallas Eakins.. is the the next head coach?

Dallas Eakins.. is the the next head coach?

Since 2009, the Oilers have had 5 head coaches: Craig MacTavish, Pat Quinn, Tom Renney, Ralph Krueger, and now …. unknown. Sources say, Dallas Eakins will be named, however Craig MacTavish would not confirm yet (the signing is not done). MacTavish has an agreement lined up with a coach, but a deal isn’t signed yet. It is likely Dallas Eakins based on the word out there, but chances are there are other teams out there interested. I sure as hell hope that someone doesn’t snipe our candidate and leave us finding someone else now.

Dallas Eakins was head coach of the Toronto Marlies from 2009-10 seaosn to 2012-13. In his first two seasons, he missed the playoffs. In season 3, he and the Marlies made it to the Finals where they lost to the Norfolk Admirals (the then Tampa Bay Lightning affiliate). This year, the Marlies made it to round 2, where they lost to the Grand Rapids Griffins (the Detroit Red Wings affiliate, whom the Barons also lost to, and are now in the Finals). It seems that Eakins has had some good success in the AHL, and is another “player’s coach” and strong motivator. I don’t know enough about him yet… doing some digging, but I sure as hell hope he can line match. In today’s NHL, that seems quite important. I’d almost rather go back to Craig MacTavish as coach than another guy that just rolls the lines like Quinn and Krueger each did.

So I have one question already, is he a line matcher? My other question, will the new coach bring in a new set of assistant coaches? I sure hope so. I think that’s been another constant here, and maybe it’s time to move on with those guys. Buchy has been here since 2008-09, and Steve Smith came on a few years ago. Might be time to take a look elsewhere.

Craig MacTavish said he came to the conclusion about letting Ralph Krueger go when he was shopping around for an associate to coach with Krueger. He had discovered that the guys he was looking at weren’t so much guys that would support Krueger and in line with his abilities… but more so, support what MacTavish was looking for. Things changed… he wasn’t intending to fire Krueger initially, but changed his mind when looking at the options out there, it seems. He said this wasn’t meant to be “fair to Ralph .. but the best decision for the betterment of the club”. MacT also says he disagreed with Krueger’s philosophy. I’d bet line matching was a big part of it.

I really liked Krueger, to be honest. But I think he’s missing some important X and O stuff to have success. The Oilers are a mess in their own zone, often, the line matching is non existent… MacTavish, as frustrating as he could be, was a better coach than Krueger was. So I think as much as I hate to see a nice guy go, I think this is a wise choice. However, it’s hard to say he had enough of a chance here either or the right support. There should be some new assistants here to support whomever our new head coach is. Or, at the very least, the new head coach needs to make this decision solely on his own.

20 Responses to “Oilers fire Ralph Krueger as head coach”

  1. Racki says:

    So the replacement hasn’t been announced.. Oilers are working on it and are close, but nothing signed yet. So we’ll see.. hopefully someone doesn’t snipe our target.

  2. dawgtoy says:

    Sources such as Darren Dreger and Josh Rimer stating Eakins has agreed verbally, but hasn’t yet signed. Expectations are he will be announced and introduced on Monday.

  3. Racki says:

    Yah, I am pretty sure it will be Eakins, so long as we don’t get Nylandered.

  4. Gaumond27 says:

    Wow….Looks like MacT is going to be a knee jerk GM….can’t wait to see what plumbers he’s goingn to trade one of the kids for!!!

  5. Metal&Oil says:

    A little on the fence with Eakins as there are some more established coaches available but he is highly sought after so I guess that’s a plus. Staring to hear rumors of Eakins with Paul Maurice as an assistant/associate. That would make me feel a tad better(or any other established guy).

  6. Racki says:

    Hey Gaumond27..

    I totally get what you’re coming from. I’ve been a fan of Krueger while he was here. I really liked him and hate to see him go. But I think MacTavish has a vision with this team. Tambellini really seemed to have no clue what he was trying to accomplish with his moves. That’s one thing I’m liking about MacT. Yah, I didn’t like seeing Krueger fired.. but I respect that MacTavish has a way he wants this team to look, and he’s going to do it his way. It’s obvious that he isn’t going to trade Taylor Hall for Toby Petersen or anything. It can be a little worrisome wondering what the heck he might end up doing though… however I’d say it’s far less worrisome than a GM who sits on his hands hoping that the problems here will just solve themselves.

    As he said, he’s an impatient man.. might be a bad thing.. but failure is not an option at all this year, so he can’t wait around and see if Krueger’s systems are going to work. I guess he will hire a guy who has a style more in line with most NHL coaches – someone who has good defensive systems in place, and line matches, for example. We’ll see what happens, but I’m optimistically waiting to see what MacTavish can mold this team into.

    Metal&Oil: I hadn’t heard the combo with Maurice anywhere (certainly no one with any good credentials anyways), but that would be a pretty big game changer in my opinion.

  7. Metal&Oil says:

    Yeah those rumblings weren’t from anyone that I would trust. I think some ppl just see that Eakins has worked under Maurice before and that Maurice has had discussions with the Oilers lately and well their just pushing puzzle pieces together. It would be good to find a guy to partner with Eakins that has some NHL experience behind him but who is also not a threat to succeed Eakins. I’m sure MacT can help out this first timer too.

  8. Gaumond27 says:

    I hear you on Tambo sucking but rebuilding Lowe’s mess will take a while and let’s just hope MacT’s management style doesn’t match his killskill coaching style or we will be watching some more Toby Pedersons……He was a brutal coach so I can’t imagine him being a good GM…and please don’t mention his horseshoe up his ass 2006 where Peca coached the forwards and Pronger coached the D…. I at leasthope that while he runs this team into the ground he busts out a “YO Adrian” during one of his interviews…I’ve always wanted to see him do that!!!!

  9. Gaumond27 says:

    Either way by the looks of the Boston-Pitts series Colin Campbell wants to go back to the old NHL tackle hockey so his plumber son can stay in the league!!! So MacT’s style just might work… If Lowe and MacT “Know how to win” due to all their cups why aren’t Gretz and Mess coaching? It seems to me they “forgot how they won” by riding the coattails of people with actual Talent!!!

  10. dawgtoy says:

    Metal&Oil:
    Yeah those rumblings weren’t from anyone that I would trust. I think some ppl just see that Eakins has worked under Maurice before and that Maurice has had discussions with the Oilers lately and well their just pushing puzzle pieces together. It would be good to find a guy to partner with Eakins that has some NHL experience behind him but who is also not a threat to succeed Eakins. I’m sure MacT can help out this first timer too.

    Eakins having previously coached with Maurice in 2005 with the Marlies is very interesting actually. It would appear that Maurice gave him his start. Then Eakins helped with player development under Maurice with the Maple Leafs. That would be a very interesting pair to reunite actually. They clearly would work well together. Reminds me of an old movie quote “When I left you, I was but the learner. Now I am the master..”

  11. Racki says:

    So Elliott Friedman said with certainty on CBC Hotstove:
    “Dallas Eakins will be named head coach of the Edmonton Oilers as soon as Monday”. Like, not “he might be…”… he will be.

  12. oilinblood says:

    I dont remember MacT actually having talent when he coached EXCEPT for 2006 and a brief NHL top line for a month and a half in 2000-2001.
    He isnt the coach now but when he had the horses he ran the races. I dont expect him to do much with the top 6 (i dont include hemsky in my top six) for a while.

    One thing caught me by surprise in MacTs presser where it was announced he was GM. MacT made mention of the mentality of alot of our support players; who simply did not want to be a negative factor and would provide nothing positive. He wanted to get rid of those players (to people who think MacT liked to sit back in games..you never watched the oilers play. The Oilers always pressured under MacT. 2 man forecheck all day every day). This statement by MacT got my eyebrow rised because it brought to light the best before date on Krueger who openly stated he was playing for the ties to go to a shoot out. That is the coaching equivalent of being a role player who is hapy to be a non-factor. When MacT was the one in charge of finding the associate coach you had to know that Mac would be looking at head coach options as well. Apparently now MacT has openly been stating him and Krueger didnt have the same philosophies but I remember that first presser comment the most.
    The MacT hate is a little stupid. There are MAYBE 5 players outside of the 06 season that were coached by MacT and had any hope ever in their careers of being all stars. I liike that people have this field of daisies view of the koolaid painted PR picture of this team that they swallow down but this team has always been dry on talent and pitched up with hope and good marketing.

    He was the one who chose roli, He chose Spacek, he chose Samsonov to play with Hemsky, He wanted Peca, He believed in Pisani, he did the line matching which IS WHAT A COACH IS TO DO. He also got Rem Murray back and until we met the Hurricanes no other opponent had our depth at centre. Haard to beat a 4th line of Williams Weight and Recchi. These are things THAT WIN GAMES. Like going with the best shootout goaltender, regardless of whether or not another goaltender got you there. He is there to win. He allowed Hemsky to free wheel and give turn over after turnover because other people took care of those lapses. Bad coach, bad player evaluation my fn ass.

    Also the hockey you are watching on TV is called playoff hockey. Ballet dancers dont win the cup. Thank fn god SOMETHING still has its balls. And best be aware we will be getting those types of performers to round out this crew. The stanley cup would be worthless if some turds could claim the grail without fighting, ripping, tackling, and bleeding through it. Thats playoff hockey. Thank fuckin god for it (unless you are a nucks fan). budumpchhh

    Eakins line matches … I think Maurices interview may have involved Eakins but i doubt it ws to talk about a tandem. Probably picked PMs head about Dallas. From what i saw of the Marlies last year he is a good coach but i really didnt pay much attention to their side. Got family in toronto and they are happy he will go to Edmonton rather than an East team.

    The delays on the contrct could involve what controls the coach will have in selecting support staff.

    Hope everybody is safe and sound. — Miss the chats—

    God i hope we could trade for RHD Boychuk and sign Horton but i trust in MacT. finally someone gives him the horses again. Im pumped.

  13. hemmerlady says:

    I’m shocked. I really am. I’m not saying Krueger was a genius coach and I’m all for improvement however it can be achieved… but the parade of coaches is getting, I don’t know, worrisome? Old?
    I am glad to see MacT taking action, though I’m not so sure how this will play out.

    It’s sort of looking like Steveo and I will need to form a Hemmer-related support group pretty soon too.

  14. Racki says:

    OIB: I had been hoping that we pick up Pietrangelo. I’m setting my sights way high. lol

    But in more realistic news, word is that the Flyers want a d-man so bad they’d be willing to move Couturier or B. Schenn. I’m not sure he solves their D problem, but i would dangle Jeff Petry for either of them. I would not move our #7 pick in this deal, or any player at a Paajarvi level or better, in the NHL. But I’d move our 2nd, and some other non-NHL assets to get one of them.

    As for Pietrangelo, or someone like that, I’d give up the #7, and a big talent to make that happen.

    I was going to humor this with lines, but I think that’s so unlikely to happen, I won’t bother.

  15. Metal&Oil says:

    http://i.imgur.com/2dHNVgS.gif Mac T walking into the presser today.

  16. oilinblood says:

    hemmerlady:
    I’m shocked. I really am. I’m not saying Krueger was a genius coach and I’m all for improvement however it can be achieved… but the parade of coaches is getting, I don’t know, worrisome? Old?
    I am glad to see MacT taking action, though I’m not so sure how this will play out.

    It’s sort of looking like Steveo and I will need to form a Hemmer-related support group pretty soon too.

    I feel you on the revolving door issue. Like i had said before; I believed, based on the GM MACT intro presser/Lowe circus, that from what MacT was saying he didnt want to kick out another coach even though reading between the lines Kreugers actions and MacTs vision seemed to not be in harmony. I think MacT was willing to provide Kreuger with better support and then evaluate him (support MacT has clearly said was not there under Tambis rule). However, the change came at the Draft Combine when Eatkins and MacT met and apparently MacT instantly notified Eatkins and KLowe that they should start discussing the real opportunity to be the HEAD coach of the Oilers.

    I dont know alot about Eatkins and with so many vet coaches out there looking for work it is surprising that we go with an AHL guy. However, that being said, i trust in MacT completely. If this guy knocked his socks off…then you sign him.
    BOLD *wide eyes* lol

    Seriously, It came down to trying to avoid the image of more turnover with the Oilers or get the guy you want… and MacT decided to have the door revolve one more time and get his man. Alot of my buddies hate the fact that another coach has gone, especially after a partial season where you hardly had practices, but I saw enough and im sure MAct saw more than enough. Now we have a GM that has hired a guy who is exactly what he wants in a coach, will play exactly the way MacT wants, and sees the future as MacT sees it. Now MacT can get him what he needs to win. Being on the same page will count for ALOT.

    He is offensive minded… not lindy ruff. My prediction is this guy wants MacT to get the best support players so that he can let the thoroughbreds loose.

    RACK– Pietrangelo would be great… Id still like Boychuk for PK, tough minutes right side… bubble wrap for Justin Schultz. Left side I think N Schultz is a chip in play and still has a good reputation with GMs in the west. Not a playoff team top 4 though.

  17. Racki says:

    Boychuk would be a much more realistic pick up than Pietrangelo. I had always liked him too for the physical game he brings (plus the “intangibles”), and he comes fairly cheap.

  18. John says:

    We all know new GM’s like to have “their guys” so I’m sure Krueger saw the potential writting on the wall but I liked the dude, he was all about improving & working hard as well as having fun. Maybe our team is past that point now though; it’s time to getter done. Obviously that is the perception MacT is trying to design, I just don’t think they have all the horses needed yet to achieve with that mindset.

  19. dawgtoy says:

    Racki:
    Boychuk would be a much more realistic pick up than Pietrangelo. I had always liked him too for the physical game he brings (plus the “intangibles”), and he comes fairly cheap.

    You’d have to think something has to give in St.Louis on D. That’s a lot of coin to tie up on the back end. My guess would be Shattenkirk could easily be targeted. They also have depth at G, I’d love it if MacT got them on the phone.

  20. Racki says:

    John:
    We all know new GM’s like to have “their guys” so I’m sure Krueger saw the potential writting on the wall but I liked the dude, he was all about improving & working hard as well as having fun. Maybe our team is past that point now though; it’s time to getter done. Obviously that is the perception MacT is trying to design, I just don’t think they have all the horses needed yet to achieve with that mindset.

    MacT really has his work cut out for him. He wants to retrofit the entire bottom 6, basically, plus I’d imagine a D pick up or two yet, plus a couple of goalies (at least one for the NHL)…. not sure if he wants to improve on size in the top six at all. Lots of work!

    dawgtoy: You’d have to think something has to give in St.Louis on D. That’s a lot of coin to tie up on the back end. My guess would be Shattenkirk could easily be targeted. They also have depth at G, I’d love it if MacT got them on the phone.

    Shattenkirk would be interesting. He’d replace Petry in my scenario I laid out above, if we moved him in a trade involving Couturier or B Schenn. Not quite sure what the asking price for a guy like him would be though.

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