Dallas Eakins

Report: Canucks ask Leafs permission to interview Eakins for head coaching gig

The list of potential candidates for Vancouver’s vacant bench boss position is being assembled.

The Canucks have reportedly asked Toronto permission to speak with Dallas Eakins about their head coaching gig, according to CBC’s Elliotte Friedman.

Friedman announced the news during the Hockey Night in Canada panel session of Saturday’s Detroit-Chicago game, confirming the Canucks have interest in the longtime head coach of the Maple Leafs’ AHL affiliate, the Toronto Marlies.

Eakins, 46, has been coaching the Marlies since 2009 and is regarded as one of the AHL’s finest coaches. He took the Marlies to the 2012 Calder Cup finals and has posted a .632 winning percentage in each of his last two seasons.

A former NHLer with over 120 games on his resume, Eakins has ties to the Canucks organization.

He finished his playing career with Vancouver’s then-AHL affiliate, the Manitoba Moose, in 2003-04. His head coach at the time was Stan Smyl, Vancouver’s current senior advisor of hockey operations.

(The ’03-04 Moose team also featured appearances from current Canucks Ryan Kesler, Alex Burrows and Kevin Bieksa. Also on that team? Nolan Baumgartner, currently an associate head coach with Vancouver’s current AHL affiliate, the Chicago Wolves.)

Eakins also has NHL coaching experience, having served as a Leafs assistant from 2005-08.

If the Canucks are courting Eakins, it would be interesting to have heard the conversation between Vancouver GM Mike Gillis and Toronto’s Dave Nonis.

Their relationship was described as “toxic” in April when negotiations to trade Roberto Luongo crumbled at the NHL trade deadline.


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Report: Sean Avery was arrested last week

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From the Southampton Press:

Sean Avery, the former National Hockey League player, was arrested by Southampton Village Police last week on two criminal charges.

According to authorities, Mr. Avery was arrested September 30 following a routine traffic stop on Jennings Avenue in the village at about 4:09 p.m. He was charged with fourth-degree criminal mischief and two counts of seventh-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance, all misdemeanors.

Police said the criminal mischief charge involved an incident the day before, when Mr. Avery allegedly threw objects at passing vehicles.

As for those counts of possession, according to the newspaper, Avery was found to have “two prescription drugs, acetaminophen with oxycodone and roxicodone.”

He was released on $500 bail and ordered to appear in court at a later date.

Did we mention he’s supposed to get married this weekend?

H/t Gawker

Devils send ’15 first-rounder Zacha back to junior

2015 NHL Draft - Round One

Pavel Zacha was this close to making his NHL debut.

Just days prior to opening their season against the Jets, the Devils returned Zacha — the sixth overall pick at this year’s draft — back to his junior club in OHL Sarnia.

The move comes after Zacha, 18, impressed throughout training camp and the preseason. He appeared in four exhibition games for New Jersey, scoring one point while endearing himself to the organizational brass, coaching staff and players.

“He understands the game. He plays with a maturity. It’s crazy to think an 18-year-old coming out of high school is up here and playing with the maturity and understanding of the game with the new system,” Kyle Palmieri told NJ.com. “I think he’s got a lot of raw talent there as a power forward. He’s got the body for it, the puck-handling skills and the nose for the net.”

At 6-foot-3 and 210 pounds, Zacha has the frame and physical stature to play at the NHL level, and looked the part for long stretches of the exhibition season, getting turns on New Jersey’s top line.

The decision to send him back to junior is probably the right one, however.

Zacha only turned 18 in April and has limited experience even at the OHL level; ’14-15 was his first year with Sarnia, though he did appear in 38 Czech League games (for Liberec) the season prior.