Uwe Gerd Krupp (born 24 June 1965) is a German former professional hockey defenceman and former coach of the German national ice hockey team. Widely considered one of the greatest German players of all time, he was the first German-born player to win the Stanley Cup, and the second German-born professional to play in an NHL All-Star Game, after Walt Tkaczuk. Following Tkaczuk, Krupp was only the second German-born player to have a lasting career in the National Hockey League although, unlike Tkaczuk, Krupp spent his formative years in Germany, and arrived in North America as a young but experienced professional.
Krupp playing for Colorado in 1997.
24 June 1965|
Cologne, West Germany
|Height||6 ft 6 in (198 cm)|
|Weight||235 lb (107 kg; 16 st 11 lb)|
New York Islanders
Detroit Red Wings
West Germany and|
214th overall, 1983|
One of the only natives of Cologne to play for Kölner Haie in the Deutsche Eishockey Liga, Krupp was spotted by Scotty Bowman, coach and general manager for the Buffalo Sabres, who chose him as the 214th pick in the 1983 NHL Entry Draft. After Kölner Haie won the German Championship in 1986, the team released Krupp so that he might try his luck in the NHL. He made his NHL debut against the Montreal Canadiens, but spent the latter part of the season with the Rochester Americans of the American Hockey League, where he was a member of the Americans team that won the Calder Cup. Krupp scored an overtime goal in Buffalo's final game the 1989–90 season against the Pittsburgh Penguins that eliminated the Penguins from playoff contention.
Krupp steadily improved as a mobile, puck-moving defenceman, increasing his point totals each year with the Sabres. In the 1990–91 season, he participated in the NHL All-Star game, the second German-born player to do so after Walt Tkaczuk. On 25 October 1991, Krupp was part of a blockbuster trade that sent Pierre Turgeon to the New York Islanders for Pat LaFontaine. Krupp quickly settled with the Islanders, finishing second in scoring among defencemen behind Tom Kurvers, with 35 points in 59 games.
Krupp spent the next two seasons as one of the Islanders top defenders, helping the team defeat the defending Stanley Cup Champions Pittsburgh Penguins in the 1993 playoffs, and reach the Conference Finals against the heavily favoured Montreal Canadiens, which the Islanders lost. On 28 June 1994, the Islanders traded Krupp along with their first-round selection in the 1994 entry draft, Wade Belak, to the Quebec Nordiques for Ron Sutter and the first overall draft selection, Brett Lindros. After recording 6 goals and 23 points in the lockout-shortened 1994–95 season, Krupp's rights were transferred as the Nordiques relocated to become the Colorado Avalanche.
Krupp is famous for scoring the memorable Stanley Cup-clinching goal for the Colorado Avalanche in the third overtime period of the fourth game of the 1996 Stanley Cup finals against the Florida Panthers. That season, Krupp had been injured in the very first Avalanche game in history after moving from Quebec City, tearing the ACL, MCL and lateral meniscus in his left knee; he returned for the final five games of the regular season and playoffs, in which he scored 16 points in 22 playoff games. He later won another Stanley Cup in 2002 reuniting with Bowman as a member of the Detroit Red Wings. In his NHL career, Krupp played 729 games for the Buffalo Sabres, Colorado Avalanche, New York Islanders, Quebec Nordiques, Detroit Red Wings and Atlanta Thrashers before injuries forced him to retire.
On Monday, 23 November 2009, before the Colorado Avalanche game against the Philadelphia Flyers, Krupp was named a member of the Avalanche Alumni Association. On January 17, 2017, the International Ice Hockey Federation's Historical Committee announced Krupp would be inducted into the IIHF Hall of Fame as part of the class of 2017. The selection committee stated:
"It’s difficult enough making an impact at the top levels of hockey, but it is doubly so for players outside the “Big Six,” because their chances of crafting an impressive resume through medals is greatly diminished. Yet it is easy to name Uwe Krupp as the finest hockey player Germany has ever produced. A defenceman of imposing size, he was nevertheless a fluid skater who brought the puck out of his zone with consistency."
After announcing his retirement Krupp coached the Atlanta Duluth Ice Hawks youth team. He also served as coach at TPH Thunder AAA Hockey. This was short lived as he was quickly appointed as an assistant coach to the German Junior National team. Working up the ranks, he was appointed as an assistant coach to the Men's National team under Greg Poss in 2005. Then, shortly before the Torino Olympics, Krupp was made coach of the German national ice hockey team on 15 December 2005, replacing Poss who resigned under heavy fire from the German media. Krupp had strong feelings the German media never gave Poss his fair chance, using the excuse Poss was from North America to stonewall any chance Poss may have had of success.
Krupp coached the German team to a tenth-place finish at the 2006 Olympic Games in Torino. He had drastic lineup changes in store before the 2006 World Championship "B-Pool" tournament. Facing strong criticism from the German tabloid media, Krupp chose a team of young players, leaving behind seven veterans from the Torino team, in addition to the top goal scorer in the German league. Skewing the team towards youth, he chose players who had led the Junior National team out of the "B-Pool" to lead the Germans past Israel, Hungary, Great Britain, Japan and the home country France. With an unheard of average age of 22, the Germans outscored opponents 35–4 during their four-game ascent into the "A" group.
At the 2010 Olympic Games in Vancouver, the Germans remained winless, but they would bounce back a couple of months later. At the 2010 World Championships in Germany, Krupp led the German National Team to a semifinal-appearance, Germany's best result at an international tournament since winning bronze at the 1976 Olympic Games. He remained in the job until November 2011. For his work, he was presented with the Xaver Unsinn Trophy. Under his guidance, the German team had also won the 2009 and 2010 Deutschland-Cup.
Krupp returned to his hometown team Kölner Haie and served as head coach starting 1 July 2011. One of his players on the Haie roster was his son Björn Krupp. Krupp was named best DEL Coach of the 2012–13 season and inked a contract extension until 2017 in October 2013. Under his guidance, the team went to back-to-back DEL finals in 2013 and 2014. On 10 October 2014, Krupp, his assistants Brian McCutcheon and Ron Pasco as well as general manager Lance Nethery were sacked. In a statement, Kölner Haie CEO Peter Schönberger said the team needed a new direction.
Krupp took over head-coaching duties at Eisbären Berlin in December 2014. He guided the team to a playoff-semifinal appearance in 2017 and to the finals in 2018. Krupp parted company with the Eisbären organization after the conclusion of the 2017-18 season, he was named head coach of Czech club HC Sparta Praha on May 2, 2018.
After his playing career, Krupp maintained his Atlanta area home, and coached his son's youth team as a volunteer. Krupp has brought several young German players to North America for a variety of tournaments and camps, in addition to opening his home to two Hurricane Katrina refugees who played on his son's youth team. Upon his retirement, Krupp was immediately inducted into the German Hockey Hall of Fame, as a player. In mid 2009, Krupp returned to Germany in preparation for the 2010 World Championships which Germany hosted.
Krupp has two sons, Björn and Cedric, with his former wife Beate, and a daughter and a son, Thomas James and Isabelle, with his partner, Claire. Krupp was married to American dogsled racer Valerie Buck.
Regular season and playoffsEdit
|1991–92||New York Islanders||NHL||59||6||29||35||43||—||—||—||—||—|
|1992–93||New York Islanders||NHL||80||9||29||38||67||18||1||5||6||12|
|1993–94||New York Islanders||NHL||41||7||14||21||30||4||0||1||1||4|
|1998–99||Detroit Red Wings||NHL||22||3||2||5||6||—||—||—||—||—|
|2001–02||Detroit Red Wings||NHL||8||0||1||1||8||2||0||0||0||2|
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