Dallas Eakins’ coaching candidacy tour rolls on.
Last week, the AHL Toronto bench boss met with Edmonton GM Craig MacTavish about a spot on the Oilers’ coaching staff, the Globe and Mail reports.
Eakins is being considered for an associate coaching gig with Edmonton to work alongside head coach Ralph Krueger who, after his first year on the job, is reportedly not on the hot seat.
The 46-year-old Eakins 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.
He’s also been very active on the job interview front lately.
Vancouver asked Toronto’s permission to interview Eakins for its vacant head coaching position, as did Dallas. Over the weekend, TSN reported that the New York Rangers also sought permission to speak with Eakins after firing John Tortorella.
Here’s more on the Oilers situation, from the Globe’s James Mirtle:
Eakins has long maintained that he believes his next step will be as an NHL head coach, noting that he already has two years as an NHL assistant – in 2006-07 and 2007-08 with the Leafs under Maurice – and wasn’t interested in returning to the role.
But what the Oilers are looking for is someone to step in one rung higher as an associate coach – a situation where Eakins would be considered second-in-command and first to take over in case of a firing – and there’s no question the Marlies coach could be an excellent fit with a young, up-and-coming team.
That was believed to be the basis for MacTavish’s sell job, one that can only work if Eakins doesn’t get an offer to be a head coach elsewhere.
Mirtle also notes the Oilers have been looking at former ‘Canes head coach Paul Maurice and ex-Vancouver assistant Rick Bowness, the latter of whom accepted a position with Tampa Bay on Monday.