Ducks hire Eakins for AHL gig

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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.

Prior to accepting the San Diego job, Eakins had been on the radar for Philly’s then-vacant coaching spot — later filled by Dave Hakstol — and also interviewed for the head coaching gig in WHL Vancouver.

During his one-and-a-half seasons in Edmonton, Eakins compiled a 36-63-14 record.