Dallas Eakins has landed back behind in the bench — but in the American League, not the NHL.
On Friday, the former Edmonton head coach was named the new bench boss of the San Diego Gulls, Anaheim’s AHL affiliate. The move returns Eakins to the league in which he got his coaching start; he started as an assistant with the Toronto Marlies in 2005, eventually taking the head coaching gig before an ill-fated stint in Edmonton.
With the Gulls — previously the Norfolk Admirals — Eakins will get to work with a number of Anaheim’s young prospects, which could include former first-rounders Stefan Noesen, Shea Theodore and, possibly, Nick Ritchie, who the club took 10th overall at the 2014 NHL Entry Draft.
Throughout the month of August, PHT will be dedicating a day to all 30 NHL clubs. Today’s team? The Ottawa Senators.
Last season ended on a low note for the Senators getting humbled by the Penguins in the Eastern Conference Semifinals. After barnstorming Montreal in the first-round, fans in Ottawa had high hopes for a deep run. Once the offseason began, things got a bit more exciting for some of the wrong reasons.
Ottawa fans were left stunned when captain Daniel Alfredsson decided to return for another season but not for the team he’d been playing since the mid-90s for. Alfie signed with Detroit and spurred GM Bryan Murray to pull off a stunning deal with Anaheim to acquire Bobby Ryan. While they gave up a lot of their own high-level youth (Jakob Silfverberg, Stefan Noesen) to get him, Ryan gives them a four-time 30-goal scorer, something Alfredsson hadn’t been since 2007-08.
Acquiring Ryan wasn’t their only move. Clarke MacArthur joined the fold after leaving Toronto and Joe Corvo returned to town to replace Sergei Gonchar who was dealt to Dallas. Add that extra offense to a team that figures to have a healthy defensive corps (and team all around) and underrated goalie Craig Anderson and you’ve got a team many believe will challenge for the Stanley Cup.
Talk is cheap but after being this summer’s “It” team, expectations are higher than ever in Ottawa.
He’s since served three of the 10 games but, with the OHL on holiday break from Dec. 15-27, his suspension will still be ongoing when the WJC tourney begins on Dec. 26.
IIHF bylaws note that “player suspensions will apply to participation in both ice hockey and In-line hockey competitions irrespective of the competition in which the offense giving rise to the suspension occurred.”
Noesen was one of four Americans taken in the first round of the ’11 draft — J.T. Miller, Connor Murphy and Tyler Biggs were the others — and has been a solid contributor for the Whalers this season, leading the team in goals (17) while posting 26 points in 26 games.
The U.S. failed to medal at last year’s tournament and was dropped to the relegation round for the first time since 1999.