THE WAY I SEE IT: WHAT ABOUT NAIL?

Robin Brownlee
April 21 2014 10:37PM

Dallas Eakins 5

The bottom line is it doesn’t matter much that Anton Belov didn't want to return for a second season with the Edmonton Oilers as long as Dallas Eakins was the coach here, opting instead to sign with SKA in Russia.

Belov, who arrived in Edmonton after being named the KHL's best defensemen the previous season, didn't go into detail in comments to Russian reporter Pavel Lysenkov, as noted earlier today in an item by Jonathan Willis, but he did point a finger at Eakins.

"There is no one reason that made it an abrupt change," Belov said. "It all was building up during the season, especially more so after the Olympics. And the hire of coach Bykov (by SKA) was also an influence. The other point is that I could have re-signed with Edmonton, but I didn’t want to stay with that coach (Eakins)

In what can only be described as a sometimes-up-often-down season, Belov was an inconsistent and often mistake-prone player unable to command ice time with a defensive corps lacking both quality and depth. Was Belov worth having back? Sure. Is his departure a big loss? No.

That Belov clearly had issues with Eakins – be it a personality clash or a beef about how he was used -- isn’t a big deal. I'm much more interested in seeing if Eakins and Nail Yakupov can get on the same page going into next season because if they don't, well, that is a big deal. Way more at stake.

SOPHOMORE GONE SIDEWAYS

64-Yakupov-4

After scoring 17 goals and tallying 31 points in 48 games (.65 PPG) as a rookie last season under coach Ralph Krueger, Yakupov went sideways this season under Eakins, finishing with 11 goals and 24 points (.38 PPG) in 63 games before an ankle injury put him out.

Yakupov, 20, saw his ice time drop from 15:34 under Krueger to 14:19 under Eakins, with his power-play time dipping slightly from 2:28 to 2:10. How, when and with whom Yakupov was deployed by Eakins was questioned by agent Igor Larionov during the season.

More than once this season, Yakupov appeared frustrated and seemed at odds with Eakins. By the end of the season it was almost as if he'd mentally checked out. I'm not the only one who has made that observation. I'd be surprised if Larionov doesn't plan on getting back on the telephone with GM Craig MacTavish this off-season to re-visit what's happening with his client.

I've taken a few runs at Yakupov for being too individualistic and not working as diligently as he could at all aspects of his game, particularly his defensive play. He's a work-in-progress, sometimes a frustrating one at that. It comes with the territory when you're talking about a 20-year-old.

MEETING OF THE MINDS

64-Yakupov-11

Despite some obvious shortcomings at this stage of Yakupov's young career, I think Eakins has to take some of the blame for this sideways season – a fair amount, actually. Did Eakins give Yakupov the best possible opportunity to succeed in terms of how he was used and where he was used? No and no.

Did Yakupov contribute to the problem by withdrawing or sulking when things didn’t go his way? It seemed so. Did Eakins dig in his heels and insist things be done his way, as coaches are prone to do? Yes. Simply put, the way I see it, Eakins and Yakupov both have their stubborn streaks.

In the end, splitting the blame whatever way you see it doesn’t really matter. What does matter, and the challenge for Eakins, is that he finds a way to get on the same page with Yakupov. If that doesn’t happen, he risks losing the player and having Yakupov check out for good, and we're talking about a first overall pick here, not a fringe blueliner.

If that happens – nobody has told me we're at that point yet – and Larionov picks up the telephone and tells MacTavish his client wants out, Eakins will have a big problem, vote of confidence from the GM or not. The way I see it, Eakins and Yakupov better have a meaningful sit-down before Larionov and MacTavish do. Over to you, coach.

Listen to Robin Brownlee Wednesdays and Thursdays from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. on the Jason Gregor Show on TEAM 1260.

Aceb4a1816f5fa09879a023b07d1a9b4
A sports writer since 1983, including stints at The Edmonton Journal and The Sun 1989-2007, I happily co-host the Jason Gregor Show on TSN 1260 twice a week and write when so inclined. Have the best damn lawn on the internet. Most important, I am Sam's dad. Follow me on Twitter at Robin_Brownlee. Or don't.
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#1 RexHolez
April 21 2014, 11:10PM
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Can't get on the same page with a 1st overall pick, has ex players saying they don't want to play for him, moves the team backwards in every aspect of the game, I just don't understand why some people don't like him. He seems like the perfect coach to get KLowe canned!

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#2 D
April 21 2014, 11:12PM
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Yakupov fan here (my favourite player on this team, so my comment is clearly one sided). If it is a choice between Yakupov leaving or Eakins being dismissed as coach, please keep the number 1 pick and don't let the door hit number 208 on the way out. (Yes, I had to Google Eakins' draft number).

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#3 6 ring circus
April 22 2014, 12:46AM
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Mactavish should have never hired Eakins in the first place.Kruger should've been given the opportunity to coach the Oilers this year,that was the right move, instead he was stabbed in the back.The Oiler's organization is a gong show,if we can all see this from the outside,I really wonder what is happening on the inside.

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#4 Sketchy
April 22 2014, 12:00AM
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@Rick Stroppel

one of the worst players to play the game, working on becoming one of the worst coaches to coach the game

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#5 Arius Mumin
April 21 2014, 11:03PM
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Eakins is not a good NHL coach, simple and plain.

He is a hypocritical ego maniac.

For the sakes of Oilers future, I hope: they come out on a losing streak next season, so Eakins can get canned sooner than later.

Someone should contact Belov and ask more about the Eakins comments. But, that a pipe dream since the Oilers would never allow media to do that or go there with their team/coach.

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#6 HOFFFF
April 21 2014, 11:04PM
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It was a large enough issue with Belov that it was worth mentioning. He didn't have to say anything, but he wanted it out there.

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#7 Rick Stroppel
April 21 2014, 11:42PM
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D wrote:

Yakupov fan here (my favourite player on this team, so my comment is clearly one sided). If it is a choice between Yakupov leaving or Eakins being dismissed as coach, please keep the number 1 pick and don't let the door hit number 208 on the way out. (Yes, I had to Google Eakins' draft number).

WHILE WE ARE PICKING ON EAKINS

Eakins played 120 games in the NHL and scored ZERO goals. I know he was a defenceman, but still...come on...zero goals. BTW, the NHL record for most career games played in the NHL without a goal is 155 games by someone named Steven Halko.

So, objectively speaking, in terms of offence, amoung thousands of men who played NHL hockey, Eakins is once of the worst of all time.

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#8 Oilers Coffey
April 22 2014, 01:22AM
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LMAO at Eakins 2nd worst NHL player of all time. Of all time. Seriously this has got to say something no wonder he was chopping wood and hauling water. WTF does that even mean? His coaching tactics and hair style are beyond outdated. Its 2014 not 1914. Belov said it and he obviously wanted to make that point clear. Eakins is a terrible coach. How many others are going to be jumping town when their contacts are up. So much for attracting free agents. I mean Justin Schultz came to the Oilers because of Ralph. He's probably sitting at his Summer cabin thinking the same thing as Belov. As for Yakupov, how else can Dallas destroy this kids confidence. Nail loves hockey and to see him totally withdrawn is a huge red flag to me.

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#9 Jason
April 22 2014, 05:48AM
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I m in Toronto, The Marlies still winning after Eakins left, what does that say about him?

You got a few writers hyped him up as the next hot thing in coaching. They had Mac T bite, well he won't admit he screwed up and fire Eakins, he gave him another year to screw the Oilers up.

Eakins only has plumbers (long time AHL players like him) because he had no skills as a players.

He has something against foreign and Muslim players, he insulted and pissed off Kadri in AHL. Now Eakins is doing it to Yakupov over there.

Oilers are NHL worst in goals against, got shut out 10 home games? Allowed 13 short handed goals against (Leafs has 12 so they both has something in common, he came from this organization).

Oilers missed the playoffs from November on, great coaching!

So 4 ex-Oilers said negative things about Eakins since they left. No alarm bells ringing over there yet?

The guy is all talk and no action.

The Avs got new coach, same young team with no big name Dmen. They are second in the West this year after finishing 2nd last the year before.

Even the Flames has better record than the Oilers with no name goalies. Ouch!

Eakins benched the foreign players but he didn't benched Hall, RNH, Eberle or Justin when they screwed up?

A coach is supposed to make his team better not make his players lose confidence.

When Hall sprayed Eakins with water on the bench, he sat Hall most of the 3rd period? This Eakins is a clown, a joke.

If anyone trashes this have the balls to reply why, and what good did Eakins bring to the Oilers.

Todd Nelson is a good coach, he should be promoted. Every year he has nobody in the line ups because the big club traded away his players. The big club kept recalling his players, yet he got the Barons in playoffs each year. Give Nelson credits.

The Oilers deserve better, the fans deserve better!

Winning will change all that.

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#10 Ari Gold
April 21 2014, 11:02PM
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Bold words by Belov. He's got a fat contract now and shouldn't care how NHL clubs view him now. I'm quite surprised, in fact, that he was so reserved in his comments.

I've got a feeling that dressingroom was brutal to be in. I wouldn't be surprised if all UFAs look to leave.

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#11 HOFFFF
April 22 2014, 12:09AM
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Sketchy wrote:

one of the worst players to play the game, working on becoming one of the worst coaches to coach the game

There's also our Goaltending Coach who played a total of 32 games in the NHL and his assistant who never even played in the AHL. That should support Scrivens and Fasth nicely. I don't get it.

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#12 Rick Stroppel
April 22 2014, 12:12AM
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Rick Stroppel wrote:

WHILE WE ARE PICKING ON EAKINS

Eakins played 120 games in the NHL and scored ZERO goals. I know he was a defenceman, but still...come on...zero goals. BTW, the NHL record for most career games played in the NHL without a goal is 155 games by someone named Steven Halko.

So, objectively speaking, in terms of offence, amoung thousands of men who played NHL hockey, Eakins is once of the worst of all time.

I HAD TO CHECK THIS OUT

I just went to the NHL database. 6,397 men have played in the NHL. Halko holds the record for most games played without a goal, DALLAS IS NUMBER TWO! So you could say that Dallas was the second most useless NHL player of all time.

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#13 Arius Mumin
April 22 2014, 12:36AM
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WhattaMike wrote:

First off, I will say that Belov took the money and ran. He was a star in his KHL league, here he didnt do much. I see him as a 6/7 defenceman in the NHL on any team that good.

HE's the type thats always easily replaceable...as is Fraser, Grebeshkov, Larsen, Potter, etc.

Next, Eakins isnt the know all tell all type guy. He is an AHL coach now being an NHL coach and he has screwed up this season on certain issues to me. That being said, I (as armchair GM) will reasonably but cautiously give him 30 games to show he's grown as an NHL coach....if not give him the boot. I lay the main blame of this season not only only Eakins inexperience for the NHL but also on Dubnyk and LaBarbera for the some of the most inferior goaltending to start a season that I've ever seen before.

Last is that Yakupov has to rise to another level and start showing some better 200 feet two way playing effectively.Yeah Eakins couldve been better with the kid but Hemsky was here and seemingly owed his position. Yak got thrown all over then is confused (IMO) as to nwhich line's job was to be done.

My BIGGEST worry is that these early years with the drafted kids since 2009 ongoing...has been wasted/will be wasted too much... and very shortly in the future... their growing time will be gone and... all these highest picks that the Oilers gathered....will be gone/for naught.

You only see Belov as a 6th/7th defenseman because Eakins presented him to you as such. Take a look back at how Eakins presented Yakupov to you. Look at other players like Eberle and RNH.

Belov had the same misfortune as rest of his teammates: Eakins for a coach.

Belov was a good player in the KHL, was good player in the Olympics. Unlike he did to you-Belov showed me that he could be a good NHL player, he also appeared lost and disinterested like most of his teammates.

Trust me, Eakins had more to do with it than you saw.

I would be willing to bet, that; under another NHL coach, on another NHL team, Belov would have been a better player than under Eakins.

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#14 Sorensenator
April 22 2014, 12:15AM
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Eakins is also a useless project

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#15 The Real Scuba Steve
April 21 2014, 11:05PM
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Our defense is going to be weak just as last year. Sad, but Yak deserves a another shot.

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#16 Hoozonphirst
April 22 2014, 01:20AM
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Interesting to me that the print media robots predictably chimed in today. They immediately gang up on the unhappy player to discredit anyone who makes a negative comment about Oiler ownership, management or coaching.

Belov didn't have a good year no doubt. This organization and their media trolls NEVER accept criticism and so there is no way for them to turn this around.

This management group is one colossal goat ****. The off season has barely begun. Hold on to your hats boys and girls. I think the Oiler Circus is about to arrive in town putting Ringling Bros. to shame

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#17 WONGER
April 22 2014, 09:47AM
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What about BIG STEVE MACINTYRE!!!! Great send off Saturday night in his final Pro Game!!!! Captain for the night, shot first in the shootout( still pissed at Mrs. Wonger for saying he can't do shootouts because he needs his stick to keep him upright when he skates) and named first star of the game!!! A GREAT SEND OFF FOR A GREAT GUY AND THE MOST UNSELFISH TEAMMATE TO EVER PLAY THIS GREAT GAME!!!! Only dressed for 11 games in OKC this season but never moaned or bitched once!!! Anton Lander described him as a father figure for every one on the team! Only 5 fights in the last 3 years because no one is dumb enough to fight him anymore!!! I wish more "skilled, multi-millionaire,prima-donnas" could adopt 50% of his team first focus and dedicaton to the game!!!!!!! WILL MISS YOU GREATLY BIG STEVIE, BUT GLAD YOU WERE PART OF MY FAVOURITE ORGANIZATION - THE OILERS - THREE TIMES!!!!!! ALL THE BEST TO YOU AND YOUR FAMILY!!!! THE WONGER!

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#18 HOFFFF
April 21 2014, 11:58PM
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Rick Stroppel wrote:

WHILE WE ARE PICKING ON EAKINS

Eakins played 120 games in the NHL and scored ZERO goals. I know he was a defenceman, but still...come on...zero goals. BTW, the NHL record for most career games played in the NHL without a goal is 155 games by someone named Steven Halko.

So, objectively speaking, in terms of offence, amoung thousands of men who played NHL hockey, Eakins is once of the worst of all time.

But he did get 9 helpers! He also played for 20 teams in 15 years after turning pro. :)

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#19 blainer
April 22 2014, 06:51AM
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My take on Belov and Yak.. On belov ..I didn't get that Eakins was playing Fraser ahead of Belov. Those two players are not even close and I suspect Belov also saw this. The worry with yak is that Belov was a fellow countyman and you can bet the two of them talked a lot about Eakins. A big problem with Yak was that we had ebs and hemmer ahead of him on the depth chart and had yak playing all over the place. RW, LW,1st 2nd 3rd and 4th lines. Whereas Hall and Nuge came in and were on the top line immediately. If we keep Yak put him on the 2nd line RW with Perron and a big talented center and leave him there. My God playing him with Gags Was Madness.

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#20 Andrew
April 22 2014, 01:45AM
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With all of this disfunctional nonsense going on how do you season ticket holders feel about this? If I were staring at a blank cheque and considering writing a 6 figure amount on it I have to say I'd be weighing my options very carefully.

Eakins made mention, after being baptized on the bench by Taylor Hall, how he had had many more screaming matches with other players over such minor issues. He is apparently no stranger to conflict. His reaction to an unintentional act was way the hell over the top. Can anyone see anger issues here?

If there is this much confusion and controversy visible from the outside fan's perspective what in hell is going on out of our sight? Enough apparently to overflow into public view. Just a thought...

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#21 v4ance
April 21 2014, 10:51PM
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Belov was a UFA and could have signed with any NHL team. The inference that I make is that his agent asked around and found no NHL clubs offering what KHL clubs were willing to pay in term and dollars.

It was an easy decision for Belov to return to the KHL. His take home pay is probably tripled compared to any NHL offers, he and his family are more familiar & comfortable in his homeland and he knows & understands and likes his coach in Russia.

Of the 3 factors of pay, lifestyle and coach that caused him to re-sign in the KHL, the issues with Eakins were probably third on that list. It sucks that he was one of the factors but he wasn't the top issue that caused the departure.

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#22 Cold Hard Truth
April 22 2014, 09:00AM
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MacTavish's presser confirmed what I already suspected about him -- he's clueless. Plenty more losing to come.

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#23 Czar
April 22 2014, 11:22AM
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@Sorensenator

"Means he is terrible at all aspects of life"

You mean the kid who moved his family to Edmonton? To steal a line from Spydyr, your douche rating is going up by the minute.

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#24 David S
April 21 2014, 10:58PM
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v4ance wrote:

Belov was a UFA and could have signed with any NHL team. The inference that I make is that his agent asked around and found no NHL clubs offering what KHL clubs were willing to pay in term and dollars.

It was an easy decision for Belov to return to the KHL. His take home pay is probably tripled compared to any NHL offers, he and his family are more familiar & comfortable in his homeland and he knows & understands and likes his coach in Russia.

Of the 3 factors of pay, lifestyle and coach that caused him to re-sign in the KHL, the issues with Eakins were probably third on that list. It sucks that he was one of the factors but he wasn't the top issue that caused the departure.

He also wanted to go to the worlds under contract in the event he got injured. Given his Oilers contract was expiring it sounds like he had to take the KHL deal. Besides, in Russia he'll get regular minutes, treated like a super hero and a decent pay cheque. None of which it looked like he was going to get with the Oilers and Eakins, even if he re-signed.

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#25 Dave
April 22 2014, 12:41AM
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HOFFFF wrote:

There's also our Goaltending Coach who played a total of 32 games in the NHL and his assistant who never even played in the AHL. That should support Scrivens and Fasth nicely. I don't get it.

Cudos to Brownlee, excellent article and a great comment by Sketchy. The goalie coach has to go.

The only silver lining here is that it appears that Scrivens may actually be a number one goalie.

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#26 Dave #
April 22 2014, 09:29AM
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But "Matty" says that Belov's comments are just sour grapes. Could be, but did we hear such comments about Krueger ? How can a reporter dismiss these comments out of hand.

Another embedded hockey reporter ?

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#27 Death Metal Nightmare
April 22 2014, 12:29AM
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Rick Stroppel wrote:

I HAD TO CHECK THIS OUT

I just went to the NHL database. 6,397 men have played in the NHL. Halko holds the record for most games played without a goal, DALLAS IS NUMBER TWO! So you could say that Dallas was the second most useless NHL player of all time.

this made me laugh out loud...

such a garbage boy just acting hard with his lame 1970s Clint Eastwood hair.

he couldnt even score in juniors. 20 regular season goals in four years (226 games).

all that "FITNESS" and no skill. real garbage boy.

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#28 Kevin Lowe
April 22 2014, 03:56PM
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Bryant wrote:

I don't care who we draft as long as Sam Bennett is not on the board for Calgary. He will eat up our guys for years.

Do the right thing and Draft Sam Bennett Oilers...

I disagree Oilers need a small winger.

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#29 OilClog
April 22 2014, 01:43PM
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This thread lol.

Yakupov isn't getting shipped out for cents on the dollar.

Yakupov isn't getting shipped out, his dreams aren't crushed, he's not going back to the KHL.

If Eakins gets to the point next season where he's benching Yakupov again, Eakins will clearly be nearing the end of his stay, as it will be clear the team still looks like blind mice out there.. Due to Eakins having no clue how to deploy players.

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#30 nrXic
April 22 2014, 12:58AM
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There was a clear difference in how Yak played late last season in comparison to this one. Again, the second half of last season, he was all over the place early that season.

He was aggressive on the puck carrier and was more prone to cause turnovers. This year, right from training camp into the first few weeks, he was the exact opposite. He hesitated, attempted to anticipate the puck carrier's moves, which gives them all the time and space in the world to make a sound play. I honestly felt like he was so passive that it was almost a 5 on 4 out there in how the opponents were able to move the puck and create quality scoring chances.

He was an obvious defensive liability in early games. He rarely hit (something he did more of late last season) and cheated way too often. I really can't blame Eakins in cutting down his ice time when the team was starving for wins. I can't blame Eakins in having Yak play the other team's 3rd lines. I don't think Eakins erred in that logic.

What I do think he erred in is allowing that poor play to happen when it wasn't the case late last year. Now, maybe since Eakins has no idea of what Yak was able to do last year, and hasn't seen many of his games, he didn't see the regression at the beginning of the season. So maybe the Assistant Coaches should have picked that up. Maybe some responsibility falls on them.

After Lari-gate, he seemed to improve in these areas. He's gotten more physical, and is a bit more confident in how he treats the competition. Ultimately became more reliable defensively. We saw him playing a harder edged game near the end, he even got injured on a slap from J.Schultz when Yak was rushing to get in front of the net, somewhere you don't usually expect him.

I think looking to a player like Perron as a mentor can help. In terms of getting in there, using their frame/size to steal pucks, to win battles in tough areas, in sending it to the net hard from any angle.

I was more than happy with Yak's game just prior to his injury. He was still struggling a bit offensively but made sure to play a much better defensive game. I didn't feel the same anxiety I felt earlier in the season when he was on the ice. He's been far more engaged in the play and unlike early in the season, he didn't watch the play and wait for a pass. I look forward to his next season, which I really hope is on the Oilers.

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#31 baggedmilk
April 21 2014, 10:54PM
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*sigh* Never a dull moment...

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#32 Quicksilver ballet
April 22 2014, 10:37AM
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Anton Belov. Apologies Anton, your first impression of the NHL was on one of the shippyest organizations ever. Piloted by an incompetent coaching staff and management group. It's a little unfair to single you out when all of your teammates struggled mightily at times this past season as well.

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#33 Quicksilver ballet
April 22 2014, 12:17PM
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pelhem grenville wrote:

Q...would never have thought Galchenyuk would come back in a trade involving 64...Dale Weise and a huge dman prospect would be better than the dreaded of all 'zippo' no?

Leave it to the Oilers to convert a first overall into that kind of return. That's the road they've been travelling for almost 25 yrs now.

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#34 zoolander
April 22 2014, 01:33PM
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blainer wrote:

Man.. we are in tough with Yak. You are correct about the return. Better to move him quick if were gonna do it. The return for the Zheredev..a 4th overall pick was Fedor Tytuin..Not too too bad....but the return for Filatov.. a 6th overall pick ..was only a third rounder. The worst part of all this is that these two players also never worked for the teams that traded for them.. which keeps teams much less willing to take a risk now..not good for us with Yak...

Or you could just fire Eakins. Why he seemed to care more about Smyth a guy who was retiring and hemsky a guy we were going to be losing over building the confidence of a first overall draft pick is insane. When the season was over and the games did not even matter he refused to play yaks on any 5 on 3 in order to get him going. No let's make sure Smyth gets his goal.

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#35 Bicepus Maximus - Huge fan boy!
April 21 2014, 10:59PM
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v4ance wrote:

Belov was a UFA and could have signed with any NHL team. The inference that I make is that his agent asked around and found no NHL clubs offering what KHL clubs were willing to pay in term and dollars.

It was an easy decision for Belov to return to the KHL. His take home pay is probably tripled compared to any NHL offers, he and his family are more familiar & comfortable in his homeland and he knows & understands and likes his coach in Russia.

Of the 3 factors of pay, lifestyle and coach that caused him to re-sign in the KHL, the issues with Eakins were probably third on that list. It sucks that he was one of the factors but he wasn't the top issue that caused the departure.

That's a lot of details for an inference.

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#36 Gordie Wayne
April 22 2014, 08:06AM
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After reading all of these comments, all I can think is that it is this team's plan to draft Connor McDavid next year...

This team is depressing the hell out of me right now...this was the worst Oilers season I have ever had to suffer through and I have been an Oilers fan since the beginning...my first word wasn't Mom or Dad, it was "Oilers".

Fire Eakins...

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#37 Bryant
April 22 2014, 12:52PM
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I don't care who we draft as long as Sam Bennett is not on the board for Calgary. He will eat up our guys for years.

Do the right thing and Draft Sam Bennett Oilers...

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#38 Voice of Reason
April 22 2014, 05:51AM
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Rick Stroppel wrote:

WHILE WE ARE PICKING ON EAKINS

Eakins played 120 games in the NHL and scored ZERO goals. I know he was a defenceman, but still...come on...zero goals. BTW, the NHL record for most career games played in the NHL without a goal is 155 games by someone named Steven Halko.

So, objectively speaking, in terms of offence, amoung thousands of men who played NHL hockey, Eakins is once of the worst of all time.

Do any of you know how many goals Scotty Bowman scored in the NHL?

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#39 SlowTalker
April 22 2014, 12:55AM
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Oops I read the comments again. Fire Eakins, Fire Lowe...so and so sucks...Yadda-Yadda-Yadda!

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#40 Mo Playoffs Mo Problems
April 22 2014, 09:30AM
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@Jason

"He has something against foreign and Muslim players, he insulted and pissed off Kadri in AHL. Now Eakins is doing it to Yakupov over there."

I trashed you for your assumption that Eakins is Islamophobic. I don't see any reason why you can take the Kadri and Yakupov situation and extrapolate that to racism.

Most of the other stuff I could agree with.

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#41 Fish
April 22 2014, 10:03AM
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When you're new and perhaps a little in overhead it's pretty common to dig in your heals and over compensate by telling the world you have it under control. Fake it til you make it mentality. Its a my way or the highway mentality because you're perhaps not comfortable enough with your own competency to allow for outside influences or adjustments. You fear projecting the fact that you don't know what you're doing.

We see a coaching staff in Detroit that openly states (on Gregors Show) that he takes players advice, learns things from his best players, implements those things, and then teaches the things superstars show their coaches to the rest of the team. That is a coach that is comfortable enough with his skills to allow for input. He doesn't need to project that he has all the answers because he smart enough to know that no one man has all of the answers. That is a coach that grows and makes everyone around him better. Eakins needs to steal a page from play book.

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#42 Will
April 22 2014, 02:53PM
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Czar wrote:

If you want to make some noise in the playoffs all your forwards should have the ability to play in both ends of the rink. They don't have to be Selke nominees but a definite clue is required.

Can you name any outstanding 2 way wingers in the NHL? Landeskog, Callahan, Perry, Brown (though not this post season). Tough to think of other outstanding two way wingers. Reason being, that's not what they're there for. Is Kane a two way guy? Is Hossa blocking shots? Does Nichuskin pride himself on his defensive responsibility?

I think Ovechkin said it best this year, he's not there to play defence he's there to score goals, and that is the main job of every winger.

Point being that yes Yak needed to play better in his own end, they all did. But saying he's a wasted player because he isn't a two way winger is a bit preposterous.

It's the same reason Hall doesn't get more props for being the best LW in the game. Oh, he's not a complete player, he's a WINGER!

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#43 Casey
April 22 2014, 09:22PM
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I have a felling Todd Nelson will flee when he has the chance. Snubbed of a job with the Oilers, Klowe and company backstabbing him by trading,calling up(even though they aren't ready), and letting them walk, treating him and his team as if it is a storage room for the big club, and lastly not recognizing nor paying attention to the amount of work he has done. Ask Marincin,Arco,Lander, any young player that has came up through the Barons. They will mention how Nelson has helped their game. Sounds the exact opposite of Eakins dosen't it?

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#44 Loweblows
April 22 2014, 08:33AM
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Gk1980 wrote:

Not much optimism here these days. How important is next season? I agree Eakins is on a short leash. Personally next season will be another failure. It will be interesting though and these boards will have a ton to talk about. I still think a major player change is required. MacT has some tough decisions to make before training camp this year.

Why does MacT have to make tough decisions? According to him everything is well and on track. Nothing to see here folks.

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#45 WhattaMike
April 21 2014, 11:12PM
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First off, I will say that Belov took the money and ran. He was a star in his KHL league, here he didnt do much. I see him as a 6/7 defenceman in the NHL on any team that good.

HE's the type thats always easily replaceable...as is Fraser, Grebeshkov, Larsen, Potter, etc.

Next, Eakins isnt the know all tell all type guy. He is an AHL coach now being an NHL coach and he has screwed up this season on certain issues to me. That being said, I (as armchair GM) will reasonably but cautiously give him 30 games to show he's grown as an NHL coach....if not give him the boot. I lay the main blame of this season not only only Eakins inexperience for the NHL but also on Dubnyk and LaBarbera for the some of the most inferior goaltending to start a season that I've ever seen before.

Last is that Yakupov has to rise to another level and start showing some better 200 feet two way playing effectively.Yeah Eakins couldve been better with the kid but Hemsky was here and seemingly owed his position. Yak got thrown all over then is confused (IMO) as to nwhich line's job was to be done.

My BIGGEST worry is that these early years with the drafted kids since 2009 ongoing...has been wasted/will be wasted too much... and very shortly in the future... their growing time will be gone and... all these highest picks that the Oilers gathered....will be gone/for naught.

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#46 Loweblows
April 22 2014, 08:36AM
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Does shi$ the bed for McDavid rhyme?

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#47 Quicksilver ballet
April 22 2014, 11:21AM
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The table is already set for Yakupov to leave at seasons end next year.

Incompetent coaching staff endorsed......check!

Last year of his agreement.....check!

His vision of the NHL dream crushed.....check!

Yakupov can leave and the NHL/Oilers, and they'll receive zippo. One season of suckage, with no reward for doing so.

Tick Tock tick Tock. Someone needs to come to their senses. Yakupov or Eakins, one will be gone.

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#48 pelhem grenville
April 22 2014, 11:04AM
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Doug ...straighten your bib there bub...the failure with 64 is he's being badly coached/ handled/developed...y'can't be obsolete at his age even if he has two first overalls ahead of him...that's just the way time works...there is order and your sense of order is badly skewed...I have said he would be great trade bait but really, you must keep quiet about how you guarantee the oilers will be drafting top 5 again because this player is so bad...the team won't get anything for him...jus shhhhush K?

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#49 Will
April 22 2014, 01:53PM
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Also, since when do wingers have to be two way players now? There are maybe like 5 wingers in the game who put up decent points and are considered two way guys. The rest are all centermen. I know he had a bad plus minus, but gad he had to play with Gagner all freakin year.

Both Perron and Yak would benefit from a better pivot.

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#50 LOIL99
April 22 2014, 09:44AM
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For those saying that season ticket holders will stop buying tickets, you are wrong. This was the worst season for ticket resale in the 6 years I have owned tickets (have 3 pairs as an investment) but.....I still made 20% ROI. Oilers management is lucky in that they don't have to ice a quality product to make top dollar in Edmonton. Very much like the Leafs.

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