Edmonton, AB – The Edmonton Oilers have named Ralph Krueger their new head coach.
The 52-year-old Krueger, who has been an associate coach for the Oilers the last two years, was the coach of Switzerland's men's ice hockey team, starting from the 1997-98 season through the conclusion of the 2010 Olympics. He guided the Swiss team to a sixth-place finish at the 2006 Winter Games.
"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," general manager Steve Tambellini said.
Tambellini added that Krueger received a three-year contract.
"I just want to start working on a daily basis. I have trust in the management to take care of the big picture. I'm ready," Krueger said via Twitter.
Prior to being hired by the Oilers, he spent time with the Carolina Hurricanes as a scouting consultant.
The Oilers, who last season finished with a 32-40-10 record for 74 points -- second lowest in the NHL behind only Columbus, did not renew the contract of head coach Tom Renney.
Edmonton had the top overall draft pick for a third straight year in the NHL draft and last week the Oilers selected 18-year-old forward Nail Yakupov with the No. 1 selection. The Oilers have a young nucleus with 19-year-old forward Ryan Nugent-Hopkins and 20-year-old forward Taylor Hall, the top draft picks in 2011 and 2010, respectively.
"Nail may be playing on the left or right side, maybe Taylor in the middle. The combinations are nothing but exciting," Krueger tweeted.