Dallas Eakins could be working on a comeback to the NHL coaching ranks.
His tenure in Edmonton was certainly memorable for all the wrong reasons. It didn’t even last two full seasons as the Oilers relieved him of his duties midway through the 2014-15 season.
However, after spending the last two seasons as bench boss of the AHL’s San Diego Gulls, Eakins could be in the mix for an NHL coaching gig.
According to Pierre LeBrun of TSN, Eakins will interview for the vacant Coyotes coaching job, which became available last week when the club and Dave Tippett parted ways.
It didn’t go well in Edmonton, but Eakins has certainly had positive results as coach of the Gulls. Last season, San Diego posted a record of 43-20-5 before bowing out in the second round of the AHL playoffs.
“If a team comes knocking, if they come knocking tomorrow or if it’s five years from now, I’m fine with that,” Eakins told the Canadian Press last year.
“I know if I go in and give my best every day, give my best to these players, that eventually and hopefully you’ll get another shot. But it’s literally the last thing on my mind.”
The process to find a new coach has started to develop over the past few days, with the Detroit Red Wings reportedly granting the Coyotes permission to interview Todd Nelson — who took over behind the Oilers’ bench when Eakins was let go.
“It’s probably as big of a decision as a manager can make in terms of your head coach,” Coyotes general manager John Chayka told AZ Central Sports.
“Hopefully we get it right and get someone who can pull all these different pieces together that we’ve put on the table and catch lightning in a bottle and do something special here.”