There has been WAY too much going on in Edmonton. Basically, EVERYTHING IS HAPPENING. Here's part one of the week that was in Oil Country.
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It was announced yesterday that GM Craig MacTavish has fired Head Coach Ralph Krueger. A bit of a surprise, considering that MacT gave Krueger a vote of confidence when hired in late April. At the press conference, MacT admitted that they were initially looking for an associate coach to work with Krueger. But, while going through the interview process, he made the decision that the would go in a different direction. While MacTavish didn't name a replacement, he did say that a deal was close with a candidate, and reports are everywhere claiming former Toronto Marlies coach Dallas Eakins will be the guy. there are also rumors that former Leafs and two-time Hurricanes Head Coach Paul Maurice will be the associate coach.
Personally, I really liked Krueger. He may not have made every right decision, but when he spoke, you couldn't help but listen. Under him, the special teams improved tremendously. There's no doubt in my mind the players loved Ralph, and the young core was instrumental in his hiring as Head Coach in the first place. 48 games simply aren't enough to evaluate whether Krueger can be a successful Head Coach in the NHL. Given a fair shake, I truly believe Ralph can turn a team around (attention Vancouver and Buffalo). That being said, it's obvious Krueger didn't fit MacT's mould for the Head Coach, and this decision, while ballsy, is probably for the best. Good luck Ralph.
As far as Dallas Eakins goes, there's a reason he has been sought after so much for head coaching jobs recently. He's smart, passionate, and his players would give their left nut to win for him. While his lack of NHL resume concerns me, everything I'm hearing about him is positive. And if Paul Maurice is on his way as well, then my optimism for the Oilers next season greatly increases. On the other hand, Guy Boucher was supposed to be a golden boy coach as well, and we all know how that turned out of Tampa.
Thanks for reading!
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