Ralph Krueger (not Freddy) is the Oilers new head coach. Do I like the call? Not really. Do I hate it? No. I'm more meh on the whole situation. First the Oilers let Renney hang out to dry for a month before they fired him. Second, it took the Oilers a month and a half to hire Krueger. Normally that would not be a problem but when you promote someone from within your own organization, you would assume it would not take months to accomplish. Third, Krueger comes with no NHL head coaching experience. While that is not a prerequisite for a successful NHL coach, I thought it might be the way to go. Or go after one of those AHL rising stars.
The Oilers are pimping Krueger's successful stint as the head coach of Team Swiss and in particular, ONE victory over Canada in 2006. Sure that was an upset but should not be the reason you hire him. You can say he took a not very talented Swiss team and made them into a quasi-hard team to play against. It was all defense. Krueger states he won't coach the Oilers the same way he did with the Swiss because the Oilers have better skilled players. That is a positive.
Oilers are pimping his role in the improvement in the Oilers powerplay. I believe he probably played a role in that but do you not think maybe it was more to do with personnel (such as Ryan Nugent-Hopkins in particular) than with the coaching?
Oilers are pimping his motivational skills. I have no idea if this is accurate or not. If it is, then he never said anything to anyone last year in terms of team motivation (not including his possible role in improving the powerplay). Apparently he wrote a successful book in Germany. Okay?
TSN's Dreger says the young Oilers really like him. Also he claims to make everyone accountable for their actions. If true, that is another positive.
I do not believe the Oilers 29th place finish last year is all on Tom Renney. The Oilers did NOT provide enough NHL players for him. Did he make mistakes? Of course (hello Belanger on the powerplay point) but he was not the sole reason for 29th. He improved the young players immensely. He did not seem to have much affect on the veterans so maybe Krueger can light a fire under them.
If Krueger does improve this team, it will not be his victory only. It will be partly due to Renney, improvement of the young players and partly due to Tambellini giving him better supporting players this year. Tambellini MUST sign better free agents. The first test if Justin Schultz. Can the Oilers with Krueger tempt him to sign here? Does hiring Krueger help the Oilers case to free agents? That is a big question and one I'm not sure of yet.
I'm still meh on this hiring but hope to be proved wrong.