Over the past year, Ralph Krueger has been the subject of speculation surrounding just about every head coaching vacancy in the league. Offered at least two jobs, Krueger has turned down every opportunity to return to hockey and instead kept his position as Chairman of the Southampton soccer club in England. The Premiership offers Kruger a chance to be part of one of the biggest sporting leagues in the world, and he’s seemed very content with his position there.
Today, eighty percent of the Southampton organization was sold off for more than $270MM to businessman Jisheng Gao and his family. While a letter from former majority owner Katharina Liebherr states that she and Gao still have complete confidence in Krueger’s leadership, some like Bob Stauffer of 630 CHED in Edmonton believe it could inch him closer to an NHL return. If the new ownership wants to install their own chairman, Krueger could be on the top of many team’s lists in the hockey world.
- Detroit Red Wings’ prospect Dennis Cholowski has officially signed a CHL contract with the Prince George Cougars, where he’ll likely spend this season. After playing one year at St. Cloud State in the NCAA, Cholowski signed his entry-level contract in the spring and spent some time with the Grand Rapids Griffins. The 19-year old first-round pick will head to the WHL where he should dominate after already putting up impressive performances against much older players in the US college ranks. He could still be sent to the AHL or even make the NHL squad in training camp, but this signing lends more credence to the idea he’ll spend 2017-18 in the junior ranks. The left-handed defenseman has some of the best upside in the Red Wings’ organization, and won’t be rushed to the NHL for a team that is not expected to compete. Cholowski has a very good chance of representing Canada on the international stage at the World Juniors this year, after taking part in the Summer Showcase earlier this offseason.
- After suffering an injury that forced him to watch as his team won the KHL’s Gagarin Cup, Pavel Datsyuk is healthy and back in the lineup for SKA St. Petersburg’s preseason game tonight. Datsyuk was an All-Star in his first year back in the KHL, and even at 39-years old should be a lock for the Russian Olympic team. The former Detroit Red Wings’ forward scored 42 points in 51 total games last year for St. Petersberg, and will try to take a depleted team back to the playoffs again. Both Vadim Shipachyov and Evgeni Dadonov left the team for the NHL this offseason, but they did add young defender and Columbus Blue Jackets prospect Vladislav Gavrikov to the defense group.