March 12 2013; Denver, CO, USA; Edmonton Oilers head coach Ralph Krueger (center) on his bench during the first period of the game against the Colorado Avalanche at the Pepsi Center. Mandatory Credit: Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports

Krueger Out In Edmonton; Eakins In?


The Edmonton Oilers have fired Ralph Krueger after his first season behind the bench. Krueger wasn’t given too long to make his mark on the team as 2013 was only a 48-game season. The Oilers finished 19-22-7 and failed to make the playoffs for a seventh consecutive campaign.

Krueger spent two seasons as an assistant coach with Edmonton before receiving a promotion to take over the squad for this year. He coached the Swiss National team from 1997-2010 prior to making his way to the National Hockey League. New Oilers General Manager Craig MacTavish clearly wanted his own choice in charge, and that obviously wasn’t Krueger.

TSN’s Darren Dreger believes Dallas Eakins will take over in Edmonton, although no announcement has been made yet. MacTavish indicated the Oilers are close to hiring someone, but a deal hasn’t been finalized. Edmonton was interested in Eakins as an assistant coach earlier in this off-season. He has also had interest from the Vancouver Canucks, New York Rangers, and Dallas Stars about their vacancies as well.

Edmonton seems to be a logical fit for Eakins who has a reputation of getting the most out of young players, and the Oilers certainly have no shortage of those. His work in the AHL with the Toronto Marlies has helped make the transition to the NHL easier for players such as Nazem Kadri, Jake Gardiner, and James Reimer.

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