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Southampton’s Ralph Krueger willing to coach in the NHL again, but only if the ‘fit is right

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He may be enjoying his time as chairman of the Southampton Football Club, but Ralph Krueger can’t get the possibility of returning to the NHL out of his mind.

According to reports, the longtime hockey coach is open to accepting a head coaching gig in the NHL, but as the team offering the job is a great fit for him.

The 59-year old Winnipeg native had previously been the head coach of the Edmonton Oilers during the 2012/13 season after many years coaching overseas in German and Austrian club teams along with a stint as the Swiss men’s national hockey team bench boss. But his time in the NHL was short lived.

The Oilers relieved him of his duties after finishing with a 19-22-7 record during the lockout shortened season that year.

His most recent hockey related gig was when he lead to a Team Europe to an unexpected second-place finish at the 2016 World Cup of Hockey.

He has been employed by the Southampton since 2014. He was promoted to chairman of the Football Club after a short stint as director.

Hockey

Ovechkin will serve as NHL Ambassador in China next month

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A big name NHL star is going to be the face of hockey in China.

The league announced Thursday that Washington Capitals great Alex Ovechkin will serve as an international ambassador for the NHL when he visits Beijing, China during the week of August 4 next month

“It is a huge honour for me to be an ambassador for the entire Washington Capitals organization and the National Hockey League for this special trip to China,” said Ovechkin.

“I think it is very important to spend time to help make people all over the world see how great a game hockey is. I can’t wait to spend time with all the hockey fans there and I hope to meet young kids who will be future NHL players. I can’t wait for this trip!”

Among the things Ovechkin will do when in the country is do a full on media tour, attend business meetings, and participate in various youth hockey clinics.

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Hockey

Former Nashville Predators captain Greg Johnson’s death most likely a suicide

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Some more sobering information has been revealed about the tragic death of former Nashville Predators captain Greg Johnson.

According to the Detroit News, Rochester police documents confirm that his death was more likely than not a suicide after a gun and a single bullet were near his body when he was discovered by his wife in the morning on July 7.

No further details of the autopsy have been made public.

Johnson, who was 48 at the time of his passing, spent 12 seasons in the NHL from 1993-2006.

The second round pick in the 1989 NHL Draft amassed 145 goals, 224 assists and 345 penalty minutes over a span of 785 games split between the Predators, Detroit Red Wings, Pittsburgh Penguins and Chicago Blackhawks.

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Hockey

Capitals ink Jakub Vrana to two-year extension

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Another restricted free agent is off the market.

The Washington Capitals announced Tuesday that they have signed forward Jakub Vrana to a two-year, $6.7 million contract extension.

“Jakub is a highly skilled player with a tremendous upside and is a big part of our future” said Capitals general manager Brian MacLellan.

“We are pleased with his development the past two seasons and are looking forward for him to continue to develop and reach his full potential with our organization.”

The 23-year old, who was selected 13th overall in the 2014 NHL Draft, posted a career-best 47 points (24 goals, 23 assists) and a plus-20 rating in 82 games last season.

He will be entering his fourth NHL season in 2019/2020.

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