Medicine Hat, AB — Over the past number of seasons, the Medicine Hat Tigers have been a pipeline of talent to the National Hockey League. Since the 2000-01 season 29 Medicine Hat Tigers have made the jump to the NHL. Add in current Tigers David Quenneville and Mason Shaw, who were most recently drafted to the big leagues.
However, it’s more than just players who are able to utilize their time and experience as Tigers to realize their dream of reaching the NHL.
The latest example is Darren Kruger.
The Tigers and Calgary Flames announced this week that Kruger, who was most recently the club’s Senior Director of Player Development, has accepted a position with the Calgary Flames. Kruger’s position will keep him within the Western Hockey League as he will cover scouting for the Eastern Conference.
“This is a very exciting opportunity for Darren to work in the National Hockey League,” stated Head Coach and General Manager Shaun Clouston.
Kruger spent 4 years behind the bench of the Tigers as an assistant coach before moving into his current role as Senior Director of Player Development. Prior to that Kruger enjoyed a very successful playing career, playing 2 seasons in Swift Current and recording 97 points in his final season. He played multiple years of pro hockey in Germany before concentrating on coaching at the Junior level.
Darren puts his name into the books as one of the many alumni of Tigers hockey staff to make the transition to the NHL. More recently is the man who had this position before Kruger, Brad McEwen who also joined the Calgary Flames scouting staff prior to 2014-15. Former Tigers Head Coach and General Manager Willie Desjardins coached with Vancouver for 3 seasons. While Doug Lidster and Perry Pearn joined Desjardins on the bench as assistant coaches. Rick Carriere and Bob Green are within the scouting department for the Edmonton Oilers organization.
The Western Hockey League and the Tigers continue to produce not only some of the world’s finest players, but hockey staff as well.
“On behalf of the entire organization and Tiger family, I want to thank ‘Krugs’ for his tremendous contributions and positive impact on the success of the Tigers over the last 12 years. It has been a privilege for all of us to work alongside Darren for the duration of his tenure. He is a great hockey man and outstanding person,” stated Clouston. “We wish him all the best in Calgary with the Flames!”