McKenzie: Oilers convinced Krueger will bring change

Bob McKenzie

6/27/2012 7:01:00 PM

No one should doubt Ralph Krueger's credentials to be behind a bench in the NHL, but his promotion from associate coach of the Edmonton Oilers under the departed Tom Renney to head coach of the team was surprising in one sense.
That is, when the Oilers opted to not bring back Renney, it was thought the team was looking for a significant culture change and keeping everyone else on the coaching staff except Renney and promoting his right hand man to the head position is hardly perceived as a dramatic difference.
But the Oilers are convinced Krueger in the pilot's seat will be different enough than Krueger in the co-pilot's chair. And that his experience, most of it in Europe and notably with the Swiss national team program, will stand him in good stead, to say nothing of his intimate knowledge of the current Oilers.
The 52-year-old Krueger is regarded as a very direct in his approach, a good communicator, one with sound technical knowledge and he even had the endorsement of Renney, who told the Oilers on his way out the door that Krueger would be the best man for the job. And after interviewing other candidates from outside the organization, the Oilers apparently came to the same conclusion.