Ex-Oilers coach Ralph Krueger fired over Skype
Call it one of the wonders of modern technology, but this is truly an unfortunate way to get fired.
The Edmonton Oilers had hired former coach Craig MacTavish as the team’s new general manager, putting head coach Ralph Krueger’s job in jeopardy. Krueger had just finished his first season as Oilers coach, and a lockout-shortened 48 game season at that. Krueger hoped to have a shot at a full season with the team, but that was just not in MacTavish’s plan for the team.
The following is from a conference call Sunday between TSN’s Ryan Rishaug and Krueger, describing how the firing via Skype went down.
“This past Thursday, he had requested that I accept him on Skype so he could Skype me and…when the conversation began it went to business very quickly, and he was quite clear with the message that he felt it was necessary…to hire a new head coach, and that’s the way it went. The conversation was very short, I didn’t really dig deep because I believed very quickly, in my mind, that it wasn’t worth burning any brain cells thinking about why because I could feel the decision was final, so it wasn’t necessary for me to understand it, I moved on very quickly…
“I am certain that for my experience over the last three years, I have become a better coach, I’ve become a better person, a better leader, and so my primary emotion right now is that I am extremely grateful for these things. I am grateful that I found a difficult place where I could go every single day with pleasure. I enjoyed being an Edmonton Oiler.”
Krueger had previous coaching experience as an associate coach of the Oilers from 2010 to 2012, and he was also head coach of Switzerland’s national team from 1998 to 2010. Krueger was not particularly disappointed by the firing, but cited a “philosophical void” between himself and MacTavish.
Modern technology offers easier options for new coaches and front office staff members to connect with each other. In this case, it seems like the Skype firing was fairly civil.
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Around the Rink Columnist Joe Ray – @jpray_SK