As of: 03.12.2019 15:25 clock
The 31 head coach posts of the North American professional league NHL are the most sought-after coaching jobs in ice hockey. 30 of them are occupied by Americans and Canadians. The big exception is Ralph Krueger, who has served the Buffalo Sabers since this season. Although the 60-year-old was born in Steinbach in the Canadian province of Manitoba and has recently become a Swiss citizen – above all, he has North German roots: His mother is from Hamburg, his father from Stralsund.
Krueger: "Hamburg is my favorite city"
"My parents got to know each other in a hospital in Hamburg in the 1930s," says Krueger Interview with NDR Info.
Ralph Krueger – a North German behind the NHL gang
03.12.2019 12:34 clock Author: OldOrp, Heiko
Ralph Krueger was born in Canada, but feels like a hamburger and a European. And as such see him in charge of the NHL – a huge exception.
After the Second World War, Krueger's father and his wife moved to Canada. There son Ralph was born on August 31, 1959, and despite the great distance to northern Germany, he spent a lot of time as a child in Hamburg, getting to know and love the Hanseatic city: "My now deceased mother showed me many places and areas in Hamburg where she grew up, I still get goose bumps when I'm just talking about it. " An uncle still lives in Hamburg and therefore he returns "at least once a year" to his "favorite city in Germany".
45 international matches for Germany
Krueger spent his active career as a hockey professional mainly in Germany, ran in the Bundesliga in 350 games (187 goals), including for the Dusseldorfer EG, the Schwenninger ERC and the SC Riessersee on. For the German national team he completed 45 games. Krueger's coaching career began in 1989 in Duisburg, then he went to Austria, where he was champion five times in a row with Feldkirch. This was followed by a commitment as Swiss national coach, before Krueger moved in 2010 in the NHL to the Edmonton Oilers. After two years as assistant, he was from 2012 to 2013 chief coach of Canadians. This was followed by a surprising change of sport – Krueger went as a consultant and CEO to the English first division football team FC Southampton.
Krueger: "Hamburg is very special for me"
Since May 2019 Krueger is now back in ice hockey and trains the Buffalo Sabers. Despite the long time spent in North America, he feels connected to the old continent: "My home is and remains Europe, I am also seen as a European." Sabers captain Jack Eichel knows why: "He does a lot of things that are typically European – he wears tailored suits or drinks espresso – you realize he's cultivated – he's just a really good person who leads a good life. " And one who has not forgotten his roots: "My blood comes from Hamburg," says Krueger, "Hamburg is very special for me."