Dallas Eakins set to become Edmonton Oilers coach

On Saturday, the Edmonton Oilers announced they would be parting ways with coach Ralph Kruger after only one season with the team and they may have already found their new man.

According to TSN’s Darren Dreger, the Oilers will announce Dallas Eakins, coach of the AHL’s Toronto Marlies, as their new coach on Monday.

Eakins has been the hot name in the coaching market this offseason. He was linked to the coaching vacancies in Vancouver, New York, and Dallas. The Canucks brought him in for interviews on two occasions after they fired Alain Vigneault earlier this spring. Eakins was scheduled to meet with Stars officials this weekend.

But the Oilers, who have been near the basement of the league the past handful of years, beat everyone to the punch.

Eakins is known for developing young prospects and Edmonton is full of them. With players like Jordan Eberle, Taylor Hall, Sam Gagner, Ryan Nugent-Hopkins and Nail Yakupov on the roster, Eakins will have the chance grow with his young players, rather than go to a win-now team like Vancouver.

In four seasons with Toronto, Eakins compiled a record of 157-114-41, including a trip to the Calder Cup Final in 2011-12. He also developed prospects Nazem Kadri and Jake Gardiner, two players who were vital in the Toronto Maple Leafs first trip to the postseason in nine years.

“All I can say is that if he goes to Edmonton, those Oilers players are getting a great coach. With Dallas, you always know where you stand. He teaches you about the game. And he treats his players like adults,” Gardiner told the Toronto Sun.

The Oilers may have not won the NHL’s Draft Lottery for the fourth straight year, but they did win the services of the hottest coach on the market.

Will Eakins succeed in Edmonton? Only time will tell.

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Categories: Hockey