The Edmonton Oilers are heading into next season doing something they haven’t done the past three years — break camp with a new head coach.
From Tom Renney to Ralph Krueger to now Dallas Eakins, there’s been someone new at the helm in Edmonton each of those years. Having a host of different voices and systems to get accustomed to can be a bit of a pain for any team. It’s even more troubling for one that has a host of young players and hasn’t made the playoffs since 2006.
That’s a point forward Jordan Eberle made sure to make as Joanne Ireland of the Edmonton Journal shared.
“With the same coach, we can pick up where we left off,” Eberle said. “At the start of last year, we struggled and that’s going to be a big thing for us. We have to start the season well because, last year, we really dug ourselves in a hole early on and that killed us. Plus, it gives you confidence if you can start off winning; you realize you do have a good team.”
The Oilers didn’t exactly close the season in thunderous fashion going 9-10-1 in the final 20 games. Still, the point of having the same head coach for the first time since Renney’s second and final season in 2011-12 remains and Eakins has a lot to prove for himself as well.
The Edmonton Oilers are moving quickly to fill their newly vacant head coaching job.
TSN’s Darren Dreger reports the Oilers will announce Dallas Eakins as their new coach tomorrow afternoon. Eakins will replace Ralph Krueger who was relieved of his duties yesterday after one season behind the bench and was let go via Skype.
Eakins has been hotly pursued by the Canucks and Rangers this summer for their vacant head coaching jobs, but the Oilers and GM Craig MacTavish moved quickly to get the up-and-coming star coach. He hinted in yesterday’s press conference he was close to hiring a replacement for Krueger and it was believed Eakins was it.
As the coach of the AHL Toronto Marlies the last four seasons, Eakins led the Maple Leafs farm team to the playoffs the last two years including a run to the Calder Cup finals last year. Eakins also spent two seasons as an assistant coach with the Maple Leafs from 2006 to 2008.
It’s not easy being a head coach in the NHL. It’s especially not easy to be one in a bad situation. For now ex-Edmonton Oilers coach Ralph Krueger, not only was the job rough but how he was let go was particularly unkind.
Krueger tells reporters he was fired by GM Craig MacTavish via Skype, the Internet program that allows you to make face-to-face calls anywhere in the world. Krueger was on summer vacation in Davos, Switzerland and apparently it was the easiest way to reach him.
TSN’s Ryan Rishaug shared his conversation with Krueger over what happened.
“This past Thursday he requested that I accept him on Skype so he could Skype me,” Krueger said. “When the conversation began he got right to the message that he felt it was necessary to hire a new head coach. That’s the way it went. The conversation was short.”
If nothing else, he took the bad news like a champ.
He told the Oilers when the season ended he wanted an experienced associate coach to join the staff next season which may not have given MacTavish the best impression in the first place. Krueger says he is grateful for the chance and he’s eager for the next step in his career.
If only we could all be that positive when we’re let go from a job.
TSN’s Darren Dreger reports the Dallas Stars have received permission from the Maple Leafs to speak with Toronto Marlies head coach Dallas Eakins about their opening behind the bench.
The Stars aren’t the only team interested in Eakins, however, as the Vancouver Canucks, Edmonton Oilers, and New York Rangers are curious about him as well. The Oilers are a curious team there as they’ve already got Ralph Krueger as their head coach.
Eakins is one of the hottest names for opening coaching positions in the league this summer and it’s for good reason. The former NHL defenseman has done a standout job in four seasons coaching in the AHL putting up a 157-114-41 record in that time and taking them to the playoffs the last two seasons. Last year, the Marlies made it to the Calder Cup finals before losing to Norfolk.
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.
Many NHL players want to have the smaller, struggling teams get a bit more help, and why wouldn’t they want that? More money for everyone is a good thing. (The Tennessean)
Steve Simmons wants to know why American coaching hero Herb Brooks is in the Hockey Hall of Fame and Canadian hockey hero Paul Henderson isn’t. (Toronto Sun)
The Avalanche (and Nuggets) came up big in a charity event in Jessica Redfield’s memory. (All Things Avs)
Oilers coach Ralph Krueger decided to hide out in the woods this summer. Would you rather talk to a bear or Ben Eager? (Edmonton Sun)
Al Montoya has some new Jets-themed mask art. (Sportsnet)
Add Fedor Tyutin to the list of players destined for the KHL if there’s a lockout. (Columbus Dispatch)