From the “didn’t see this coming” file:
Former Edmonton bench boss Ralph Krueger has been hired by Southampton F.C. — currently sitting ninth in England’s Barclays Premier League — as an aide to club owner Katharina Liebherr, according to The Guardian.
Liebherr, who has taken on the role of non-executive chairwoman at Southampton, is keen to have greater involvement at the club and, in addition to the new chief executive, she will hand-pick at least three aides to help her in all areas of the business.
One of them is Krueger, 54, a German citizen, who played ice hockey in Germany before moving into coaching, most notably with the Switzerland men’s national team and the Edmonton Oilers in the NHL. He will be a consultant to the Canada team at the Winter Olympics in Sochi next month, after which he will begin his work in earnest at Southampton. He was present at Monday’s staff meeting.
Krueger is known for his motivational speaking career, in which he explores the elements necessary to build a high-performance team. He places team spirit above individual success and he details the philosophy in his autobiographical self-help book, Teamlife: From Failure to Success.
Krueger went 19-22-7 in his lone year in Edmonton, briefly flirting with a playoff push during the lockout-shortened ’13 campaign.
He’s known as an innovative thinker — last year, he raised some eyebrows by saying he and his staff were treating the shootout as a “third special team,” and had goalie coach Frederic Chabot scout opposing goalies for tips and strategies.
The Toronto Maple Leafs trimmed their training camp roster by 16 players on Sunday.
Two of the Leafs’ top prospects, William Nylander and Kasperi Kapanen, are heading to the the Toronto Marlies of the AHL.
For the full list of cuts, click here.
Nylander was Toronto’s first round pick, eighth overall, in 2014.
The 19-year-old scored an impressive 14 goals and 32 points in 37 games with the Marlies in 2014-15.
Kapenen, 19, was acquired from the Pittsburgh Penguins in the Phil Kessel trade.
He had one goal and one assist in a brief four game stint with Pittsburgh’s farm team last season.
The rebuilding Maple Leafs have no issue being patient with their top young prospects. Both players could make their NHL debut at some point this season, but they may have to wait a little while longer before they become regulars at the next level.
The Leafs now have 24 players on their training camp roster. They have until Tuesday to put the finishing touches on their lineup. Toronto needs to cut at least one more player.
According to TSN’s Darren Dreger, Raffi Torres has been suspended pending his disciplinary hearing with the league for his hit on Ducks forward Jakob Silfverberg.
Torres was assessed a match penalty for targeting Silfverberg’s head on Saturday night.
The 33-year-old missed all of last season with a knee injury, and it looks like the start of his regular season will be delayed once again.
Head coach Bruce Boudreau said that Silfverberg could have come back into the game, but he was held out for precautionary reasons.
Ducks center Ryan Kesler didn’t hide his feelings after the contest.
“(Torres) is the same player every year,” Kesler told reporters. “He needs to learn how to hit. That has no part in our game anymore.”