Uwe Gerd Krupp (born 24 June 1965) is a German retired professional hockey defenceman and former coach of the German national ice hockey team. Following Walt Tkaczuk, Krupp was only the second German-born player to have a lasting career in the National Hockey League. He is the first German-born player to win the Stanley Cup, and the second German-born player chosen to an NHL All-Star Game (after Tkaczuk). Krupp was the tallest player in the league for nearly seven years, towering at 6'6". Krupp is currently the head coach of Eisbären Berlin. His son Björn Krupp is a professional ice hockey player.
After being discovered by Scotty Bowman, coach and general manager for the Buffalo Sabres while playing for the German national team and as one of the only Cologne-born players to play for Kölner Haie in the Deutsche Eishockey Liga, Krupp was chosen by the Sabres as the 214th pick in the 1983 NHL Entry Draft. Krupp was released at age 19 from his German team after winning the German Championship in 1986 to attempt to earn a spot on the Bowman helmed Sabres. Debuting against the Montreal Canadiens he spent the later part of his first season with the Rochester Americans winning a Calder Cup in the American Hockey League. In the 1989–90 season as a member of the Sabres, Krupp scored an overtime goal in the last game of the regular season against the Pittsburgh Penguins that eliminated the Penguins from playoff contention.
Developing as an imposing puck moving and mobile defenseman, Krupp steadily improved his point totals each year with the Sabres and in the 1990–91 season was selected to participate in the NHL All-Star game, becoming just the second German named behind Walt Tkaczuk. At the beginning of the 1991–92 season, Krupp was included by the Sabres in the Blockbuster trade that sent Pierre Turgeon to the New York Islanders for Pat LaFontaine on 25 October 1991. Krupp quickly settled with the Islanders, finishing second behind Tom Kurvers in defenseman scoring with 35 points in 59 games.
Krupp spent the next couple of seasons entrenched as one of the Islanders top defenders and won against the defending Stanley Cup Champions Pittsburgh Penguins in the 1993 playoffs with the Islanders. And reached the Conference Finals with the New York Islanders against heavily favoured Montreal Canadiens, before he was traded at the 1994 NHL Entry Draft along with a first round selection (Wade Belak) to the Quebec Nordiques for Ron Sutter and first selection (Brett Lindros) on 28 June 1994. Recording 6 goals and 23 points in the Lockout shortened 1994–95 season, Krupp's rights were then 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. 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 that 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 fluid consistency."
After announcing his retirement Krupp coached the TPHThunder AAA Bantam hockey team. 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 that the German media never gave Poss his fair chance, using the excuse that Poss was from North America to stonewall any chance Poss may have had of success.
However, Krupp had drastic lineup changes in store before the 2005 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 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.
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 that the team needed a new direction.
Krupp took over head-coaching duties at Eisbären Berlin in December 2014.
After his playing career, Krupp maintained his Atlanta area home, and volunteered coaching with his son's youth team. Using his North America base, 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 to reside in preparation for hosting the 2010 World Championships.
Krupp has two sons, Björn and Cedric, with his former wife Beate, and a daughter and a son, Thomas James and Isabelle, with his current partner, Claire.
- Member of two Stanley Cup winning teams: 1996 with the Colorado Avalanche and 2002 with the Detroit Red Wings
- Selected to two NHL All-Star Games: 1991 and 1999
Regular season and playoffs
|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|