Edmonton, AB – After only one season behind the bench, the Edmonton Oilers have fired Ralph Krueger.
Oilers general manager Craig MacTavish made the announcement at a press conference on Saturday evening. The 53-year-old Krueger was let go less than a year since the club welcomed him as the new bench boss back on June 27, 2012 with a three-year contract.
"I want to acknowledge a tremendous commitment Ralph had to our players and staff in his three years with this organization," MacTavish stated.
The Oilers, who finished with a 32-40-10 record for 74 points in 2011-12 under Tom Renney, went 19-22-7 during the past campaign, good enough for third place in the Northwest Division but still unable to snag a playoff berth.
"I wanted to hire an assistant coach, an associate coach who was a veteran. During the process of me conducting those interviews, I recognized I tried to add a coach that was more closely aligned to how I wanted to run the team than what Ralph was looking for," added MacTavish. "It wasn't an easy decision, I stand by that decision and I will be judged by that decision."
MacTavish later stated that he intended to "turn over the keys" of the club to a new head coach and coaching staff by the time training camp begins on Sept. 15.
Krueger had been an associate coach for the Oilers for two years prior to his elevation to the head coaching position. He spent time with the Carolina Hurricanes as a scouting consultant and also served as coach of Switzerland's men's ice hockey team from 1997 through the conclusion of the 2010 Olympics, guiding them to a sixth-place finish at the 2006 Winter Games.