Anton Belov’s sudden departure from the Edmonton Oilers for the KHL came out of nowhere.
The young Russian defenseman had just finished his first season in the NHL and looked to be someone the team could use in the future for their struggling blue line.
But why did he leave so suddenly? Turns out he wasn’t a big fan of coach Dallas Eakins.
Things were bad in Edmonton this season as the team finished with the third-worst record in the NHL. Eakins’ handle on things in his first season behind the bench for the Oilers always appeared to be a bit too interesting. Belov saying he didn’t want to play for him won’t help many with their opinion of either Eakins or Belov. He was set to become an unrestricted free agent this summer.
Belov played 57 games with Edmonton this season and had a goal and six assists and averaged nearly 18 minutes per game of ice time. After taking off after a tough season, it might be a while before we see Belov back in the NHL, if he comes back at all.