New Edmonton Oilers GM Craig MacTavish has decided to fire head coach Ralph Krueger, the team confirmed.
TSN’s Darren Dreger believes that trendy candidate Dallas Eakins could end up being the man in charge, although that might not be part of today’s presser.
It’s a pretty harsh blow for Krueger, who only received this 48-game season to make his mark on the Oilers roster. This was his first opportunity as an NHL head coach.
MacTavish probably deserves some credit for honesty, at least, as it’s common for new general managers to get anxious about hiring “their guy.” This situation could have been messier if he waited for the first excuse to part ways with Krueger, instead.
“During the process of me conducting those interviews, I recognized I tried to add a coach that was more closely aligned to how I wanted to run the team than what Ralph was looking for,” MacTavish said.
Overall, it doesn’t paint a pretty picture about the Oilers organization, though. With Krueger in charge last season, Tom Renney coaching from 2010-11 to 2011-12 and Pat Quinn being the bench boss in 2009-10, there obviously hasn’t been a great deal of continuity in their coaching ranks.
‘John leaves a lasting mark’: NHL announces Collins’ departure as COO
One of the driving forces behind the NHL’s growth over the last decade is moving on.
John Collins, who’s served as the league’s chief operating officer for the last seven years, will be leaving his post to embark on a new business opportunity.
More, from the League:
Collins, who joined the NHL in November 2006, had been COO since August 2008.
“John leaves a lasting mark,” said Commissioner Bettman. “His energy, creativity and skill at building strategic partnerships helped drive significant revenue growth for our League. We are grateful for his many contributions and wish him the best in his new endeavors.”
Said Collins, “I’m grateful to Commissioner Bettman for his leadership and friendship over the past nine years. He had a vision for extending the reach of the NHL and supported us completely as we set out to make the game as big as it deserves to be.
“The NHL’s future is filled with promise and potential and I will admire and cheer the League’s successes to come on the global stage.”
Collins, 53, was regarded as one of main presences behind a number of the NHL’s most successful initiatives, including the Winter Classic and Stadium Series, the HBO 24/7 collaboration, the relaunched World Cup of Hockey, Canadian and American television deals and partnerships with companies like SAP, Adidas, Major League Baseball Advanced Media and GoPro.
During Collins’ tenure, the NHL was twice named “Sports League of the Year” by the SportsBusiness Journal and SportsBusiness Daily — once in 2011, and again in 2014.
Columbus will have some reinforcements up front when it takes on the Devils tomorrow in New Jersey.
Brandon Dubinsky, who’s missed the last six games with an elbow injury, and Alexander Wennberg — who’s also missed the last six games, but with a foot ailment — have both been activated from injured reserve, and should be available for selection on Wednesday.
The Winter Classic Alumni Game is back this year, scheduled for New Year’s Eve at Gillette Stadium between former members of the Montreal Canadiens and Boston Bruins.
Today, the NHL announced the rosters and coaching staffs.
Famous ex-Habs that will take to the outdoor ice include Larry Robinson, Guy Carbonneau, and Mats Naslund. Behind the bench will be Yvan Cournoyer, Jacques Demers and Guy Lafleur, among others.
The home side will counter with Bruins legends Ray Bourque, Cam Neely, and “Nifty” Rick Middleton, while Don Cherry, Mike Milbury, and Derek Sanderson will be among the coaches. (Quite a trio of personalities right there.)