|New Head Coach Ralph Krueger speaks with Oilers netminder Nikolai Khabibulin during practice last season (photo by Andy Devlin / Edmonton Oilers Hockey Club)
General Manager Steve Tambellini announced today the Edmonton Oilers have named Ralph Krueger as the club’s new Head Coach.
Krueger, 52, becomes the Oilers’ 11th Head Coach in club history after joining the team as an Associate Coach on July 30, 2010. He played a major role in the vast improvement of the Oilers’ special teams in 2011-12. Under his guidance, the powerplay was ranked 3rd overall in the NHL and the penalty-kill, 14th.
Krueger, who was born in Winnipeg, Manitoba, brings with him a wealth of experience as a Head Coach in Germany and Switzerland, in addition to leading the Oilers for five games with a 2-3-0 record last season.
Prior to joining the Oilers, Krueger was most recently the Head Coach of the Swiss National Team. During his tenure from 1997-2010, he advanced the Swiss National Team Program from 15th to 7th in the IIHF World Rankings.
Steve Tambellini says, “On hockey's world stage, Coach Krueger exhibited his poise and experience behind the bench to help the Suisse Team overachieve in Torino. This is an example of the type of leadership Ralph will bring to Edmonton.”
He guided the team to a 6th place finish at the Olympics in 2006 and 4th in the World Championship in 1998. The Winnipeg native has participated in 12 World Championships and three Olympics.
Krueger was also the General Manager and Head Coach of VEU Feldkirch in the Austrian 1st Division from 1991-1998. Under his leadership, they were a five-time Austrian Champion, three-time Alpenleague Champion and the 1998 European Champion.
Krueger played his major junior hockey in the WCHL with New Westminster and Calgary before playing in the German 1st Division from 1979-1989. He was also part of the German National Team from 1981-1986 in which the he participated in the World Championship twice.
Krueger, who wrote a German best-seller called “TEAMLIFE – Over Setbacks to Success”, has also served as a European Consultant with the Carolina Hurricanes from 2005 until 2010.
Edmonton Oilers hockey is presented in part by the Rexall Family of Pharmacies, Molson Canadian, ATB Financial, TELUS, Cenovus Energy and Ford.