Craig MacTavish.

GM MacTavish ‘strongly’ believes Eakins will coach Oilers ‘for a long time’


The Edmonton Oilers were supposed to at least compete for a playoff spot this season. Instead they have the second worst record in the NHL.

It certainly hasn’t been the rookie campaign that head coach Dallas Eakins had hoped for and he’s well aware of the fact that he could be fired.

For what it’s worth though, Oilers GM Craig MacTavish is publicly standing by the bench boss.

“I still feel strongly Dallas Eakins is going to be the guy to lead this group for a long time,” MacTavish told the Edmonton Sun.

He added, “In my mind, Dallas has had a lot to deal with this year and he’s been unflappable every day I’ve dealt with him.”

Of course, it wouldn’t be unprecedented for a general manager to support a coach and then fire him, but at some point the Oilers need to try sticking with a bench boss. Eakins is the team’s fifth coach in six seasons. To put it another way, Taylor Hall is just 22 years old and he’s already on his third NHL coach.

That seems to be a point that MacTavish agrees with as he went on to speak of the need for the Oilers to have consistency in message and coaching. Perhaps if they manage that then their results won’t be so consistently bad.


Oilers owner shares frustration in letter to fans

Memorial Cup champion goalie Appleby signs with Devils

Ken Appleby
The Canadian Press via AP
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Ken Appleby never got drafted, but his efforts during the New Jersey Devils’ training camp have earned him an entry-level contract, per the Bergen Record.

Although no team saw it fit to take him before the preseason, the 20-year-old is coming off of a very strong season. He had a 2.08 GAA and .924 save percentage in 50 games with the OHL’s Oshawa Generals. He went on to lead them to a Memorial Cup championship and earned the the Hap Emms Memorial Trophy as the tournament’s top goalie.

Appleby is the fifth goaltender the Devils have under contract after Cory Schneider, Keith Kinkaid, Scott Wedgewood, and Yann Danis. He’ll likely begin the season in the ECHL.

Alexandre Goulet and Jacob Sweeney also participated in the Devils’ training camp on an amateur tryout basis, but both of them have been released.

PHT Morning Skate: NHL stars weigh in on McDavid

Connor McDavid
The Canadian Press via AP
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PHT’s Morning Skate takes a look around the world of hockey to see what’s happening and what we’ll be talking about around the NHL world and beyond.

Some of the NHL’s top players discuss Connor McDavid‘s potential and the hype surrounding him. (Toronto Sun)

While we’re on the subject, Wayne Gretzky recalls what it was like for him going into the NHL and what’s in store for McDavid. (Edmonton Sun)

Sam Gagner is about to start a key season in his career. (Philadelphia Inquirer)

It’s time for the Washington Capitals to make some tough calls, particularly when it comes to Derek Roy. (CSN Mid-Atlantic)

With Raffi Torres hearing scheduled for today, here’s a look back at his suspension history. (San Jose Mercury News)

The Chicago Blackhawks have gotten their championship rings. (