In a somewhat surprising turn of events, Ralph Krueger has left his post as Chairman of the Southampton Football Club. His contract was set to expire at the end of June, and all parties decided it would not be extended. This comes less than two weeks after Krueger told Pierre LeBrun of The Athletic (subscription required) that he may be interested in returning to the NHL in a front office role. Krueger of course has experience behind the bench in the NHL and abroad, but could potentially be a candidate for a higher position like President of Hockey Operations.
The Edmonton Oilers, who Krueger last coached in 2013, have said that they are not currently looking to install someone over the incoming general manager. The idea of hiring one wasn’t completely shut down by CEO Bob Nicholson at his end of year press conference, but it was definitely pushed aside as the focus was made the team’s next GM.
The Ottawa Senators though have been open about their search for a hockey operations executive to install next (or perhaps above) GM Pierre Dorion. The team has already reached out to several top names but were turned down each time. Krueger could now be an option, but it remains unclear what his plans are after leaving Southampton.
Kruger coached Team Europe in the 2016 World Cup of Hockey and was praised nearly unanimously by his players. He has been working with Southampton for six years, and has also been given nothing but praise for his time there. He was apparently on the list of names that Buffalo Sabres GM Jason Botterill considered for his last coaching search.