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Ralph Krueger is getting his first NHL head coaching job with the Edmonton Oilers.
Krueger, 52, spent the last two years as an Oilers' associate coach. He also spent time with the Carolina Hurricanes' scouting department. Before that, the Winnipeg native played and coached in Europe. He coached the Swiss national team from 1997 to 2010.
"You will not come to a practice where you see us in any way, shape, or form, compromising our quality," Krueger said. "Every practice, on or off the ice, will be at the highest possible level. The winning will just naturally be a by-product over time with the group that we have."
Oilers general manager Steve Tambellini praised Krueger's teaching ability and technical skills. Tambellini said the young players "need the right message on a daily basis. One that's instructive, inspiring, and motivating. I can't think of a better person to do that."
Krueger is the 11th head coach in Oilers history. This will be the third time in the last four years the Oilers will start a season with a new bench boss.
Krueger takes over from Tom Renney, who spent two seasons as the Oilers' head coach, leading the team to a 29th place record of 32-40-10 this past year. The Oilers announced on May 17 that Renney's contract would not be renewed. (bd/jrw)