Former Edmonton Oilers head coach Ralph Krueger was fired last Thursday following a disappointing 19-22-7 season. Krueger joined the team, which has not reached the playoffs since 2006, as an associate coach in 2010 and was given only one season to try to turn things around as the Oilers’ head coach.
Like any team would do when firing its coach, the Oilers sat Krueger down and explained that they had decided to go in a different direction. Well, kind of. Edmonton GM Craig MacTavish did the deed over Skype video chat.
“This past Thursday he had requested that I accept him on Skype so he could Skype me,” Krueger told TSN’s Ryan Rishaug earlier this week. “When the conversation began it went to business very quickly and he was quite clear with the message. He was following his instincts and felt it was necessary for him to hire a new head coach and that’s the way it went.
“The conversation was short. I didn’t really dig deep because I believed very quickly in my mind that it wasn’t worth burning any brain cells thinking about why. I could feel the decision was final so it wasn’t necessary for me to understand it. I moved on quickly. … It was maximum five minutes and it was done.”
Those internet connections can get tricky, so it’s probably best that the conversation was brief. While you could argue that MacTavish at least had the decency to have a face-to-face interaction with Krueger, that still seems low. The right thing to do is to pony up a few more bucks in company expenses and have an official meeting, not one that starts with “can you hear me alright?”