The Edmonton Oilers are expected to name Dallas Eakins as the team’s head coach tomorrow. Eakins has been coaching the Toronto Marlies of the AHL since 2009. The move was made only a few weeks after Craig MacTavish was brought back to Edmonton to replace Steve Tambellini as the GM. MacTavish coached the Oilers from 2000-2009. He led the Oilers to the Stanley Cup Finals in 2006.
MacTavish turned some heads last week after it was reported that he fired Ralph Krueger over Skype. Krueger was hired last summer by the Oilers to be the coach to see them take the next step. The Oilers struggled to get things going during the shortened 2013 NHL season and Krueger was let go.
“This past Thursday he had requested that I accept him on Skype so that he could Skype me,” Krueger told Ryan Rishaug of TSN. “When the conversation began it went to business very quickly and he was quite clear with the message that he felt it was necessary … for him to hire a new head coach. And that’s the way it went.
“The conversation was short. … I could feel the decision was final and so it wasn’t necessary really for me to understand it. … It was maximum five minutes and it was done.”
Krueger was in Switzerland when he was let go, so the thinking is that MacTavish wanted to make the move as quick as possible to prevent Eakins from slipping through his fingertips.
Eakins was one of the most sought after coaching prospects in the league. The Rangers, Canucks, and Stars were also thought to be courting the former Manitoba Moose captain.
The Dade City, FL native played in 120 NHL games, becoming the second Floridian to ever play in the NHL.