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Krueger reflects on his season behind Oilers bench

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TSN.ca Staff
6/9/2013 4:26:40 PM
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Less than 24 hours after being relieved of his duties as head coach of the Edmonton Oilers, Ralph Krueger reflected on his season behind the bench.

"I'm not a big fan of regrets," Krueger told TSN on Sunday. "I made mistakes, I'm sure, but I'm not a person who uses the word regret very much. I don't feel any right now."

Krueger spent one season as head coach of the club after serving as an associate coach for two seasons. He was let go on Saturday after the Oilers finished with a 19-22-7 record and 12th in the Western Conference, missing the playoffs for the seventh straight year.

"When the conversation began it went to business very quickly," Krueger said of his discussion with general manager Craig MacTavish." He was quite clear with the message; that he was following his instincts and felt it was necessary to hire a new head coach.

"The conversation was short and I didn't really dig deep because I believed it wasn't worth burning any brain cells thinking about why," Krueger continued. "I could feel the decision was final and so it wasn't really necessary for me to understand it."

Asked if he expected something of this nature so soon into his tenure, Krueger said he didn't.

"The idea of adding an assistant or associate was one of the first things I requested following the season because I took over the head coaching job of Tom Renney and did not replace the associate coaching job that I held. Craig (MacTavish) and I both agreed that this was something we needed to do and I was all-in on that.

"It now just has a slightly different ending then I expected."

As MacTavish addressed the media on Saturday, he admitted the decision to fire Krueger began with an effort to add to the staff behind the bench.

"Ralph and I at the end of the year spent the better part of a week discussing that we would add a veteran assistant coach or associate coach," MacTavish said. "During the process of me conducting those interviews, I recognized I was trying to add a coach that was more closely aligned with the way I wanted to run the team and less about supporting Ralph in the head-coaching role. It was at that point when I contemplated making the change if, in my opinion, I found the ideal fit for our hockey club."

Krueger said he appreciated the opportunity in Edmonton and that his emotions were in check following the news.

"My primary emotion right now is that I'm extremely grateful. I'm grateful I found a place where I could go every single day with pleasure. I enjoyed being an Edmonton Oiler and I was all-in 100 per cent the whole time."

What lies ahead for Krueger remains to be seen, but the 53-year-old believes it's time to pull back and let things come his way.

"I'm not going to be out hunting; I want to let my track record speak for itself," said Krueger. "I loved my time in the National Hockey League and so it's definitely one of my options, but I do have multiple opportunities in Europe and also on other levels.  I'm going to take some time now for my family. In that time, I'm certain new opportunities will be born and I look forward to those."

Ralph Krueger (Photo: Andy Devlin/NHLI via Getty Images)

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(Photo: Andy Devlin/NHLI via Getty Images)
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