|Chairman of Southampton F.C.|
12 March 2014 – 12 April 2019
|Preceded by||Katharina Liebherr|
|Succeeded by||Martin Semmens|
|Born||31 August 1959|
Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada
|Nationality||Canadian, German & Swiss|
Ralph Krueger (born 31 August 1959) is a Canadian-born German professional ice hockey coach and former player. He is the former head coach of the Edmonton Oilers and Buffalo Sabres of the National Hockey League (NHL), and former chairman of Southampton Football Club. Since April 2019, he has held a Swiss passport.
He was head coach of the Swiss men's national ice hockey team from the 1997–98 season until the end of the XXI Olympic Winter Games in 2010 and the Edmonton Oilers of the National Hockey League (NHL) during the 2012–13 season. In 2014, Krueger shifted from hockey to the world of association football, to become director of English Premier League team Southampton. On 12 March 2014, Krueger was appointed the chairman of Southampton F.C. In April 2019, Krueger left the club to return to hockey full time.
Krueger came to Germany in the late 1970s, joining second-division side Duisburger SC. After one year, he returned to Canada, but was back in Germany in 1980 and would stay there for the remainder of his playing days. He saw action in 350 games of the German Bundesliga, accumulating 187 goals and 186 assists. In the 1980–81 season, as a member of Düsseldorfer EG, he led the league in scoring during the playoffs, with 22 points. He also played 45 games for the West German national ice hockey team.
Krueger began his coaching career as an assistant with EV Duisburg of the German second league. Between 1994 and 1998, he led VEU Feldkirch to five straight Austrian championships, culminating in Feldkirch becoming champions in 1998 of the European Hockey League, made up of the champions of various European leagues. This experience later encouraged him to author a motivational book. After the successes with the Austrian team, he took over as full-time head coach of the Swiss national ice hockey team, having split his time between Feldkirch and Switzerland in 1998. His tenure with the Swiss national team has also seen some notable successes. He led the team to appearances at the 2002, 2006 and 2010 Olympic Games and to several World Championship appearances. Krueger was also a scouting consultant for the Carolina Hurricanes.
Krueger spoke at the World Hockey Summit in 2010, and addressed the need to co-ordinate International Ice Hockey Federation and National Hockey League events. He suggested that the World Cup of Hockey be played every four years, alternating with the Olympics Games every two years. He wanted to see the Ice Hockey World Championships became an under-23 event during Olympic years. He felt it would be beneficial to national teams to evaluate their younger talent at the international level. He wanted to resurrect the Champions Hockey League and Victoria Cup competitions, which he felt would make the game more popular in Europe.
Krueger joined the Oilers as associate coach in 2010. Although during his time with the Swiss team, Krueger may have been known as a defensive-minded coach, he has also demonstrated the ability to deliver the offensive style of game. This was confirmed by his performance as coach for VEU Feldkirch in Austria. He has been described as a great communicator, positive thinker and a motivator. The book he authored (in German, also translated into French), called Teamlife - Beyond Setbacks to Success, was devoted to handling problems in life, and became a bestseller.
The Oilers promoted Krueger to head coach for the 2012–13 NHL season, but he was relieved of his duties after only one season. Hockey Canada subsequently added Krueger as a special adviser to its coaching staff for the 2014 Winter Olympics.
On 15 May 2019, Krueger returned to the NHL as the head coach of the Buffalo Sabres. The Sabres fired Krueger on 17 March 2021. At the time, the Sabres were on a 12-game winless streak and held the worst record in the league.
In 2014, Krueger made the switch from ice hockey to soccer, becoming director of Southampton in February 2014. Shortly after, he was appointed chairman of the club. He was dismissed on April 12, 2019; set to leave on June 30 when his contract expired.
Born in Winnipeg, Krueger was raised in Steinbach, Manitoba. His parents were immigrants from Germany. He attended St. John's-Ravenscourt School where he played hockey as a centre. His son Justin was a member of the Charlotte Checkers of the American Hockey League and now plays for SC Bern. Justin played for Germany's men's national ice hockey team at the 2017 IIHF World Championship.
In April 2019, Krueger, his wife and daughter received Swiss citizenship.
Regular season and playoffs
|1976–77||Assiniboine Park Monarchs||MJHL||43||26||30||56||20||—||—||—||—||—|
|1978–79||New Westminster Bruins||WHL||3||2||0||2||10||—||—||—||—||—|
|1988–89||Krefelder EV 1981||FRG.2||33||30||30||60||54||18||13||14||27||6|
Head coaching record
|EDM||2012–13||48||19||22||7||45||3rd in Northwest||—||—||—||Missed playoffs|
|BUF||2019–20||69||30||31||8||68||6th in Atlantic||—||—||—||Missed playoffs|
- Ralph Krueger: Teamlife - Über Niederlagen zum Erfolg [German]; Werd Verlag, Zürich 2001; ISBN 3859323571
- Bingesser, Felix (25 April 2019). "Eishockey: Ex-Nati-Coach Ralph Krueger ist jetzt Schweizer!". Blick. Retrieved 26 April 2019.
- Swiss a revelation in Krueger's last tournament. Retrieved 27 March 2010.
- Southampton set to hire ex-NHL coach Ralph Krueger as director. NBC Sports - ProSoccer Talk, 22 January 2014. Retrieved 25 February 2014.
- "Ralph Krueger named Southampton chairman". BBC Sport. 12 March 2014. Retrieved 12 March 2014.
- "Global Future Councils". World Economic Forum.
- Ralph Krueger: Teamlife - Über Niederlagen zum Erfolg; Werd Verlag, Zürich 2001; ISBN 3-85932-357-1
- Lysowski, Lance (10 December 2019). "Ralph Krueger changed an entire country's approach to hockey. Next: Buffalo". The Buffalo News. Archived from the original on 10 December 2019. Retrieved 11 December 2019.
- Merk, Martin (9 September 2010). "Swiss duo in Edmonton". IIHF.com. Retrieved 2 January 2011.
- Money, Don (14 August 2020). "Summit to discuss global hockey issues". Pro Hockey News. Retrieved 11 April 2020.
- Peter, Bruce (26 August 2010). "Different Cultures". Puck Worlds. Retrieved 25 May 2020.
- Podnieks, Andrew (25 August 2010). "From LA Suisse to the Edmonton Oilers, Ralph Krueger Pitches a Master Plan For International Hockey in 4-Year Cycle". Hockey Canada. Retrieved 25 May 2020.
- Krueger an 'Alpha-animal'. London Free Press, 4 June 2012. Retrieved 25 February 2014.
- Kelly, Malcolm (8 June 2013). "Edmonton Oilers fire Ralph Krueger as head coach". CBC. Retrieved 8 June 2013.
- O'Brien, James (22 July 2013). "Report: Ralph Krueger is on Canada's Olympic coaching staff".
- Krueger hired as Canadian Olympic team's inside man. Vancouver Sun, 25 August 2013. Retrieved 3 October 2013.
- Maurice, Krueger reunite on Team Europe staff. NHL News. Retrieved 13 May 2013.
- "Sabres name Ralph Krueger head coach". NHL.com. 15 May 2019. Retrieved 15 May 2019.
- Ryndak, Chris (17 March 2021). "Sabres relieve Krueger of coaching duties". NHL.com. Retrieved 31 March 2021.
- "Buffalo Sabres fire coach Ralph Krueger after 12-game skid". ESPN.com. 17 March 2021. Retrieved 17 March 2021.
- Smith, Ben (24 February 2014). "Ice hockey chief Ralph Krueger poised to start Southampton role". BBC Sport. Retrieved 25 February 2014.
- "Incoming Saints director Ralph Krueger will leave Mauricio Pochettino to work". Sky Sport. 24 February 2014. Retrieved 25 February 2014.
- "Southampton chairman Ralph Krueger leaves the club". 12 April 2019 – via www.bbc.co.uk.
- Klemm, Thomas (7 February 2013). "NHL Kruegers Mission bei den Oilers". Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung (in German). ISSN 0174-4909. Retrieved 9 March 2016.
- Johnson, George. "Johnson: Former Edmonton Oilers head coach Ralph Krueger settling into role as Southampton FC chair". www.calgaryherald.com. Retrieved 16 August 2014.
- "Team Roster Germany, May 2010" (PDF).
- Krueger cheers for son Archived 2012-10-18 at the Wayback Machine. Alan Adams, IIHF website, 10 May 2010. Retrieved 2 Jan 2011.
- "Buffalo Sabres coach Ralph Krueger tests positive for COVID-19". ESPN.com. 4 February 2021. Retrieved 9 February 2021.