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TORONTO -- Ralph Krueger is the head coach of Team Europe at the World Cup of Hockey, taking time away from his day job as the chairman of Southampton FC of the Premier League. Richard Dent Youth Jersey . He was previously the head coach of the Swiss national ice hockey team and the Edmonton Oilers during the 2012-13 NHL season. (The Oilers fired him via Skype while he was sitting on his daughters bed.) He also served as an adviser for Team Canada during its successful gold-medal run at the Sochi Winter Olympics in 2014.Krueger sat down with ESPN.com on Wednesday for an exclusive interview.A lot of us watching you in action here, one of our major questions has been, how could things have not worked out for this guy in Edmonton? What went wrong with the Oilers?When youre a head coach, there are always multiple levels. One would be, first and foremost, your knowledge of the game and your ability to work with the team. But you always need to fit culturally. I have a certain style culturally as a leader. Obviously, I was a mismatch, because we were moving on the hockey side in the right direction. There was no question the group was just beginning to jell out of that lockout season. And the organization decided to go with a different style of leadership. I did not take that personally ever, which was extremely important in my life after. Im a project person; Im a person who likes to finish projects. Im very loyal to the projects that I commit to, and that was the first one in my life as a leader that was cut abruptly short. But the world has been kind to me after that. I would say I was just a cultural mismatch to where that club wanted to go.You have spoken about how your positive attitude coming out of that maybe allowed that phone call from Mike Babcock to happen. [Babcock invited Krueger to join the Canadian mens hockey team in an advisory role before the Sochi Olympics.]Oh, for sure. There is no way he calls me if I turn negative on that. People always watch for your reaction in those situations. ... I just remember making a conscious decision right there and then to move forward. I tell everybody that winners are born in difficult times. That was the most difficult situation Id ever been in as a leader. Im sure Mike felt that energy over here and then offered me the Sochi role, which kind of catapulted me into a lot of whats happened since then.In hindsight, how important was Mikes phone call in terms of your career?Three months later, Southampton approaches me. Southampton might not have happened if I didnt take on the Canadian job. ... I said, You know what, Im going to do this. I want to win a gold medal. So my full focus became: I want to go home with a gold medal from the Olympic Games. That gave me the space to be available for Southampton. If Mike doesnt pause my career, the space for everything else isnt made. Team Europe doesnt happen, Southampton doesnt happen. You wouldnt know it at the time, but because I committed to [the Olympics], I took a step away instead of just taking the next job, which most guys do. Most guys just jump into the next job and then try to work back to being a head coach. I just didnt feel that was the right thing for me. I was too invested in Edmonton. There was pain, of course. And the main pain was how much Id committed to those kids for three years, and how close I was to them. I only realize it now when I run into [Jeff] Petry on the streets of Montreal or [Ryan] Nugent-Hopkins parents in the hotel here, and were embracing each other three years later. Im realizing now -- I saw Taylor Hall at the world championships and Jordan Eberle -- I see how close we actually were. That was the reason I couldnt coach anywhere else. I was just too connected to those kids.What made you say yes to Southampton? Apart from the passion of the fan bases and the importance of the sports to their national cultures, were talking about pretty different games. What made you say yes?After 25 years of coaching in hockey, and again the scars from the Edmonton experience -- Id be lying if I said there werent scars there -- the freshness of it, the difficulty of it, and the growth opportunity of it. ... There was a fear there that kind of excited me. It was crazy that I took that on as a non-football person. The club was in complete, total disarray in regard to its leadership structure. Its culture was a mess at that time. My wife wasnt really sure what I was doing. I think part of me throwing myself into that, I was doing Sochi and the Olympics, so I didnt feel the risks were terminal because it was parallel. I started in October, the Olympics were in February, but we didnt announce my chairmanship until March. Somehow the comfort of Sochi and still being involved in hockey gave me the courage to take this on. I was thinking if in six months the English drive me out of the country, I shouldnt be dead here as a professional. It was a calculated risk. Sochi gave me that opportunity to dip my foot into those waters. As I kind of hoped, by winning the gold there were some NHL offers, but by that time I felt Southampton was going to work. Its the first time Ive actually talked about this. Im realizing now that Sochi was a big reason why I didnt -- its not like I just dove in at the end of the pool. I kind of played in two worlds at the same time at quite a high level.Yeah. Fairly high. The English Premier League and the Olympics. Those are fairly high levels.Winning the gold medal actually helped me in Southampton. I came in as the chairman and they saw I was a consultant with Team Canada. And the English media, in January, was kind of chuckling at me. In March, they werent.Is the gold medal hanging on your Southampton office door?Its actually not. Im funny that way. Its at home, in my home in Switzerland. That gold medal is just in my heart. I rode the elevator yesterday with Carey Price and Sidney Crosby. ... I warmed up Price the first day [in Sochi], and then it kind of worked. I ended up warming him up so much that I had really bad golf elbow. I couldnt move my arm for six months after the Olympics. I have a terrible shot, but I think he kind of liked it, because he didnt know where the pucks were going. It became a bit of a joke. My elbow was my big sacrifice to win a gold medal.So was it strange being in an elevator with them, coaching the opposing team?No. No. It was warm. It was very warm to be in the elevator with them. Now, of course Im always with the team Im with. I love Team Europe and we want to beat them. If this Team Europe experience is my last hockey experience, I couldnt ask for anything better. Its just been so much fun.I would be remiss if I didnt ask you about the Sam Allardyce situation and what appears to be a burgeoning corruption crisis in English football.Oh my God. I have to tell you, really, absolutely shocked and shuddered. Our whole board is shocked and upset by it. Multiple messages through the day yesterday and this morning. Weve been a club thats been driving, wanting to get control of the evolving agent world around us, and we believe were going to have ears now. Southampton is built on a completely honest and open culture and on values. The reason I took the job was the unbelievable value structure and foundation of our owner, Katharina Liebherr. ... Thats why I embraced this, was to be able to lead and be the de facto owner of an organization where it was driven by culture. So were extremely upset by this. We see it as a shocking evolution that -- I wouldnt say were so na?ve to believe that this didnt exist, but we did think it wasnt part of our English football culture. Were going to use this, for sure, as a club, to fight for change and to fight for more regulation. We are all for regulation, and we are one of the most disciplined clubs in English football in terms of the way we deal with agents and youth academy players. Staying within the rules is something we really -- everything we do is based on that. We will react, for sure. Its going to become a major thing for me when I get back. Absolutely top of the agenda.You made it very clear at the beginning of this tournament that you were not using this to come back to hockey. But Las Vegas [the NHL expansion team], because youre a project guy, seems like an interesting opportunity for someone like you. Would you be open to such an opportunity?Its a good question. My answer is the same: Im always really present where Im present. Right now Im here with Team Europe. I believe the players never felt the chairman of Southampton in that dressing room. Maybe away from it--Like when you were watching the West Ham game in the room?OK, it might have maybe been there a little bit. I tell you quite honestly, once Im back in the Southampton environment, theres so much to do there. I love the project. ... But how could I say never? Ive never said, No, no, no, never. Ever. What Ive said is that right now Im looking forward to being the chairman of the Southampton Football Club, and that remains. This doesnt change that. I knew I loved hockey. I never said I didnt. People say, Youre in football now, so that means you don t like hockey. Ive had people calling me a traitor.Youre allowed to have multiple loves.Yes. I love to go to the theater in London. I love music. I have a Van Morrison concert at the end of October thats a big green mark on my calendar. The question is always, when you speak about the NHL, people are branding me as a coach. Im now the chairman of Southampton. So possibly theres another entry someday, in a different kind of role. Im open. As long as Southampton is my growth opportunity, I will stay there. If the time comes for change, where and when, who knows?A lot of your reputation -- I know the Canadian gold medal is a big exception -- but a lot of your reputation is leading overachieving underdogs. Thursday, once again youre in that role. What do you expect out of your team, and do you ever look over at the Canadian bench and think, I wouldnt mind standing behind those guys?You know what? Really I dont. Ive always measured winning by potential. Always. Always. The group youre with, how close to their potential do they get? Thats the marker. Ive never been a person focused on only measuring success in the superficial realm. Ive never been that. Ive always been about potential. We started with Team Europe on Sept. 1. The only thing I asked of our staff was lets create an environment where this group goes home and feels like they reached their potential. I dont think weve reached it yet. Looking at the game tomorrow, I believe very confidently youre going to see another step tomorrow. Whether that gives us the W or not, Im not sure. But we are going to have a serious shot to win. Mike Ditka Youth Jersey . The Celtics closed out their first preseason under Stevens on Wednesday night with a 101-97 victory over the Brooklyn Nets, who rested a lot of their lineup including former Celtics Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce. Brian Urlacher Womens Jersey .C. -- Al Jefferson joked that he feels he can score from anywhere on the court. http://www.bearsfootballpro.com/Authentic_Riley_Ridley_Bears_Jersey/ . -- Edmontons Val Sweeting is two wins away from a trip to Winnipeg to play in Canadas Road of the Rings in December.Gary Anderson was pushed to his limits but won a last-leg decider against exciting BDO youngster Danny Noppert at the Grand Slam of Darts on Thursday. Dutchman Noppert did much to announce himself as a future star in the second-round tie with a doubling masterclass - as he led 6-4, he was yet to miss a shot at a double.Anderson, the PDC world champion, held his nerve in the face of such pressure. By allowing Noppert just two efforts at a double in the remainder of the match, the Scot was able to string together five consecutive legs to build a crucial lead. From 9-6 down, a brilliant 107 check-out showed Noppert still had some resolve and he forced a shoot-out which Anderson pinched. Noppert broke with a 164 check-out on the bull Raymond van Barneveld ended the run of the BDOs No 1 player, Glen Durrant, with a 10-7 victory and will play Anderson next. Raymond van Barneveld admitted he felt tired during his match with Glen Durrant Barney was 5-2 ahead in the early exchanges but Durrant displayed toughness to justify his position in the latter stages of such a competition, grinding back to force a tense finish.James Wade demonstrated that the up-and-coming Benito van de Pas still has some improvements to make before joining the elite, dishing out a 10-2 win. James Wade completed a 160 check-out The unforgiving Wade stormed into an 8-0 lead and looked likely to whitewash Van de Pas, but the young Dutchman finally steadied himself to put some legs on the scoreboard before his inevitable demise. Jim McMahon Womens Jersey. ade will next play Chris Dobey who nearly threw away a 9-5 lead but eventually pipped Jamie Hughes in a last-leg shoot-out. Watch the last-leg shoot-out between Dobey and Hughes Dobey missed six darts for the match before confirming his progression, while Hughes had five opportunities that went astray to reach the quarter-finals.World No 60 Dobey appeared to have built an insurmountable lead but wobbled as Hughes, the BDO No 4, found his rhythm. Chris Dobey wins a leg with 10 darts Hughes first beat Dobey with both players stuck on 40 to reduce the deficit to 9-7, before a brilliant 107 check-out closed the gap further. Chris Dobey reacts to the biggest result of his career Hughes drew level at nine apiece and, remarkably, both players found themselves on 24. Hughes missed three darts at double 12, and Dobey ended his challenge with the next shot.Upgrade to Sky Sports now to watch Man Utd v Arsenal this Saturday and get the first six months half price! Also See: Sky Bets darts odds On Sky TV Schedule/Results Features ' ' ' 

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