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Nice birthday present: Krefeld sacks Valentine
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Dezember 8, 2002; 00:19
Nice birthday present: Krefeld sacks Valentine
Former NHL great takes over
Frank Johne

(Un)happy Birthday: Second-year head coach Valentine is out

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Munich, Germany - Chris Valentine supposedly had different plans for his birthday Friday. However his anniversary turned into a busy day, packing his bags and saying farewell to his team after being released of his head coaching duties by the Krefeld Pinguine.

New man at the helm in Krefeld: Four-time Stanley Cup champ Butch Goring
Leading DEL Scorers
(as of Feb 19, 2005)

Former NHL great Butch Goring takes over for Valentine. The move had been anticipated since the former New York Islander was brought in as a sports director last week. The 53-year-old four-time Stanley Cup champion made his DEL coaching debut with the Frankfurt Lions last year. Goring will be assisted by former netminder Karel Lang, a long-time fan favorite who retired after the 2000-2001 season.

Initially, the Pinguine wanted to retain Valentine as an assistant coach, but the Canadian declined. His release came just hours after his team squandered a three-goal lead against the Hamburg Freezers at home, ultimately losing the game after penalty shootout.

Pinguine plagued by inconsistency

After stints in Düsseldorf, Landshut and Mannheim, Valentine assumed head coaching reigns in Krefeld before the 2001-02 season. The former Washington Capitals forward, who also played 579 games with Düsseldorf in the German Bundesliga, brought instant success: The Pinguine dominated the league for months and entered the playoffs as the third-seeded team before being swept by the Kölner Haie in the opening round.

However the team couldn’t pick it up where they had left. After struggling early on in the current season, Krefeld managed to start a run and moved up into the top five, but inconsistency has kept the Pinguine from catching up with the top-notch teams.
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