The Vancouver Canucks are reportedly interested in Ralph Krueger for their head-coaching vacancy, and Krueger may be sorta, kinda interested too.
The former Edmonton Oilers head coach, currently the chairman of English Premier League side Southampton, told Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman that he’s “had some interesting chats these past weeks, but my focus remains fully on the Saints for now.”
The “for now” part would seem to leave the door slightly ajar.
Krueger, who coached Team Europe to an unlikely spot in the final of the 2016 World Cup, made a similar statement in September.
“I came in here committed completely to Southampton Football Club and the future of that organization in my role,” he said. “You can never say never, but at the moment I’m very proud to be back in hockey at this level and to be competing. We are just having so much fun in our room, the coaches, the players, the whole group is enjoying it, and I am, too. But my real life is my commitment to Southampton Football Club at the moment.”
Another qualifier: “at the moment.”
Of course, the consensus candidate to replace Willie Desjardins in Vancouver has been Travis Green, who’s coached the Canucks’ AHL affiliate in Utica the past four seasons.
But ever since the World Cup, there’s been speculation about Krueger, who many feel got a raw deal in Edmonton.
Krueger was fired after just one lockout-shortened season as Oilers head coach. He was replaced by Dallas Eakins, who didn’t last too long on the job either.