Oilers fire coach Ralph Krueger after one season


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.

The new GM provided an explanation for the change, including this line.

“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.

Jason Demers tweets #FreeTorres, gets mocked

Los Angeles Kings v San Jose Sharks - Game One
Leave a comment

Following his stunning 41-game suspension, it looks like Raffi Torres has at least one former teammate in his corner.

We haven’t yet seen how the San Jose Sharks or the NHLPA are reacting to the league’s hammer-dropping decision to punish Torres for his Torres-like hit on Jakob Silfverberg, but Jason Demers decided to put in a good word for Torres tonight.

It was a simple message: “#FreeTorres.”

Demers, now of the Dallas Stars, was once with Torres and the Sharks. (In case this post’s main image didn’t make that clear enough already.)

Perhaps this will become “a thing” at some point.

So far, it seems like it’s instead “a thing (that people are making fun of).”

… You get the idea.

The bottom line is that there are some who either a) blindly support Torres because they’re Sharks fans or b) simply think that the punishment was excessive.

The most important statement came from the Department of Player Safety, though.

Bruins list Chara on IR, for now

Zdeno Chara

Those who feel as though the Boston Bruins may rebound – John Tortorella, maybe? – likely rest some of their optimism on the back of a healthy Zdeno Chara.

It’s possible that he’s merely limping into what may otherwise be a healthy 2015-16 season, but it’s definitely looking like a slow start thanks to a lower-body injury.

The latest sign of a bumpy beginning came on Monday, as several onlookers (including CSNNE.com’s Joe Haggerty) pointed out that Chara was listed on injured reserve.

As Haggerty notes, that move is retroactive to Sept. 24, so his status really just opens up options for the Bruins.

Still … it’s a little unsettling, isn’t it?

The Bruins likely realize that they need to transition away from their generational behemoth, but last season provided a stark suggestion that may not be ready yet. Trading Dougie Hamilton and losing Dennis Seidenberg to injury only make them more dependent on the towering 38-year-old.

This isn’t really something to panic about, yet it might leave a few extra seats open on the Bruins’ bandwagon.