EDMONTON, ALBERTA (AP) - Ralph Krueger was fired Saturday as coach of the Edmonton Oilers after leading the team to a 12th-place finish in the Western Conference in his lone season.
The Oilers have missed the playoffs seven straight years. They were 19-22-7 in the lockout-shortened season.
General manager Craig MacTavish, who addressed the media at a late-afternoon news conference, said he spent a week in discussions with Krueger about bringing on a veteran assistant coach.
“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 than I was in supporting Ralph and the head coach of our team at the time,” MacTavish said.
Krueger spent one season as head coach after serving as an associate coach for two seasons.
It was not immediately clear when the Oilers would name a successor. MacTavish took over as general manager this spring.
The Oilers, who are loaded with top young players like Taylor Hall, Jordan Eberle, Ryan Nugent-Hopkins and Nail Yakupov, will have their third coach in three seasons.
Some of the potential options include Lindy Ruff, Alain Vigneault, John Tortorella along with Dallas Eakins of the AHL’s Toronto Marlies.
The 53-year-old Krueger was the head coach of the Swiss national team from 1997-2010. He led the team to 12 world championship appearances and three Winter Olympics. He also coached VEU Feldkirch in Austria’s first division.