EAKINS

Lowetide
April 06 2014 07:19AM

eakins common33

After a long, disastrous season it's understandable to feel a need to lash out and point fingers. The problem? There are always some fingers pointing back at you.

In his famous Sunday article Bruce Garrioch of the Ottawa Sun tells us the prevailing wisdom in regard to Eakins future.

  • Garrioch: The belief is the Oilers will stick with coach Dallas Eakins as he heads into the second year of his contract despite a disastrous rookie season.

I believe it's the right call. Why? First, Craig MacTavish hired Eakins to bring a culture change to the organization, and it appears (from what we know) this was a turbulent year for all concerned. I have no doubt learning occurred for both players and coach (witness Hall's improvement in shot differential of late, likely a result of relaxing the 'shoot and chase' approach to offense) during this year. Next season should be stronger because of the foundation built in 2013-14.

There has to be structure, and Eakins has struggled at times to institute the plan. That's on him, but there's also a lot of truth in the idea that you can't win the race with a plough horse. Edmonton's defense isn't good enough to turn north and I don't think Scotty Bowman could get this defensive group into the playoffs.

Progress was made, and the blueline seems to be coming into view.

Garrioch article is here, he also mentions Messier as a future coaching option. 


ASSISTANTS

huddy

Lots of chatter about improving the staff by hiring and firing assistants. I don't know much about that area of the game, but do know that the defense hummed when Charlie Huddy was an assistant coach here. If he comes available, I'd like to see him back in our town.


C2a6955161684b5e3189319acfa5ebe4
Lowetide has been one of the Oilogosphere's shining lights for over a century. You can check him out here at OilersNation and at lowetide.ca. He is also the host of Lowdown with Lowetide weekday mornings 10-noon on TSN 1260.
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#51 Rick Stroppel
April 06 2014, 10:04AM
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Retsinnab5 wrote:

My concern is that if the Oilers keep Eakins he's going to ruin Yakupov's career.

YAKUPOV IS KEY

You mean like Jacques Martin ruined Alexandre Daigle's career? Daigle's stats in his first two years in the NHL were very comparable to Yakupov's. In his third year the doo-doo hit the fan: 17 points in 50 games, minus 33.

I assume the evaluation of Eakins will include FRANK discussions with all the players. In business they call this "360 degree performance review". If Yakupov says "I like Eakins and I think I can succeed with him" that should be a substantial (not conclusive) factor. Ditto if he says "he's the worst coach I ever had and I really don't get what he's trying to do with the team".

A number one overall pick is a precious resource and the Oilers are wasting this one.

The Oilers management would not be so stupid as to make this coaching decision without seeking input from all the players...would they?

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#52 Mary Mcfly
April 06 2014, 10:10AM
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MacT should take advantage of opportunity. If a great coach comes available (Trotz)... You try to hire him and if successful let go of Eakins. If not, you hang on to Eakins until the right coach is available. Do I think this will happen? No, I 'm sue we're stuck with Eakins for awhile longer.

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#53 Oiler Al
April 06 2014, 10:11AM
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Got to love the line" can't fire Eakins, need to have continuity"

What, continue to be in 29th place again, is that what you mean by continuity.

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#54 Dan 1919
April 06 2014, 10:13AM
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@KSC10032

“...today’s average NHL game is becoming almost devoid of genuine, traditional, hockey action...”

Well your problem there sir is the Oilers, they’re actually a terrible hockey team. Try watching the Blackhawks or Sharks play, it’s actually somewhat entertaining.

And well Parise plays on the same team as Dany Heatley, you can’t blame the guy for being depressed.

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#55 Serious Gord
April 06 2014, 10:21AM
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Spydyr wrote:

Is Eakins part of the problem or part of the solution?

My vote is part of the problem.

He was hired because Mac-T fell for his talk.He is all hat no cattle as DSF liked to say.

The only reason people say to keep him is for continuity in coaching.To avoid yet another coaching change.

It was one of Mac-T's first moves and firing Eakins would look bad on Mac-T.So I fully expect Eakins to be around to sink next season by Halloween yet again.

It is the Oiler way.

I would rather put it this way: is Eakins a cause or a symptom?

I think he is a symptom. Katz/Lowe/laforge are the cause of the pile of $hit that is this sorry excuse for an NHL franchise.

Firing Eakins - something I have been calling for since early December (and before that is questioned the hiring process, or rather lack of it) - only treats a symptom. Addressing the cause is the only long-term cure. That Katz was and maybe still is trying to hire messier is all the proof you need of what the disease is that is infecting this organization.

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#56 Oiler Al
April 06 2014, 10:22AM
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If I am Eakins I would be nervous, if MacT, at seasons end asks Dallas if he has Skype on his computer?

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#57 admiralmark
April 06 2014, 10:28AM
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I think it's probably the right move "for now". I think that the problem I see that could be long term is Eakins stubbornness and lack of either flexibility or adaptability I guess is more appropriate? I mean if it's true and the latest surge by Hall and others is that Eakins changed there approach on zone entries? Well that was 65-70 games into a season?! And the PP ... we collectively have been screaming to change it for months.

In his pre season interviews he stated that he would prefer to install 2-3 different systems of play so that he could adjust mid game if necessary. Right now its sounding like a lot of hot air. How could any coach let alone an NHL level coach not think the PP needed to be totally adjusted? And while on the subject which of Buckberger and Smith are involved in designing this PP... They should be fired without question.

Bottom line is it at this point appears he does not have the ability to adapt quick enough for this league. But I guess you give him to xmas to see what he can do?

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#58 Serious Gord
April 06 2014, 10:30AM
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a lg dubl dubl wrote:

I was listening to 1260 yesterday, they were talking about the possibility of Oates getting fired in Washington. My question to you LT, do you think he could be a candidate for the assistant coach with "hc experience" that has been talked about before?

I think he would be imo, he could run the pp and teach guys like RNH, and Gagner on the art that is face offs.

Why in the heck would a NHL HC come to work under an incompetent rookie HC here in EDM? If he would then IMO it disqualifies him for being such an idiot.

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#59 Serious Gord
April 06 2014, 10:32AM
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Oiler Al wrote:

Wake up everyone! Eakins was a Katz hire!

Eakins was the "big chase" last year, and Katz was not to be outdone by the likes of Dallas or Vancouver for the supposedly big catch in the coaching lake.

Let's get him while he's hot.. and give him what he wants.[not sure of his salary, but 4 years is a big give]

What about Kruger? O ya, well fire him on skype.

I would fire Eakins and if not him then the other three stooges behind the bench.

A very plausible idea. Look at who hired torts in Van...

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#60 Serious Gord
April 06 2014, 10:35AM
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Derian Hatcher wrote:

The following questions may be of the simplistic variety, yet I believe they are valid. I wonder how Oiler management would answer these in a truthful fashion, not their usual "patient and process" spin:

1) How did Colorado improve so much this season under Patrick Roy? 2) Paul Maurice seems to have a positive impact on the Jets - I believe Maurice was available last spring when Eakins was hired. 3) How does Bob Harlley get his players to work hard and compete game after game? 4) In reality, how much sense does is make the keep a coach whose team has not improved in any area of the game for the sake of continuity? 5) Is the Oiler team, as a whole, buying in and playing hard under Eakins?

All one has to do is look back to what Eakins said last June when he was hired, and compare it with the results.

How confident are you as an Oilers fan that "next season" (yet again) the team will be better (how can they be worse?) under the direction of Dallas Eakins?

By Eakins own metrics/rhetoric he should be fired a long time ago.

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#61 Serious Gord
April 06 2014, 10:43AM
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CMG30 wrote:

The team needs continuity. A new coach would necessitate the players learning a new system, AGAIN. This will scrub half a season, so come this time next year we'll be having the same conversations about different people. Ask yourselves why Eakins got such a lucrative contract? Danger pay for the Oilers recent history. You want to take a step forward? Then you need to stop singling out one guy and start looking at this thing as a whole.

Will the Oilers be better next season? Yes, for the simple reason they fixed their goal tending. I don't know how many people were watching at the beginning of the year but by my count Dubnyk cost them something like 10 of their first 20 games. That's 20 points right there that if we had, puts us in a totally different position. If they do something about the defense, I can see that translating to another 10 points. Now we're competing for a playoff spot.

Roy came in as HC in Colorado and got immediate results. Veniault did the same in NYC. Eakins is one of many changes that need to happen but firing him is still one of them. And meanwhile MacT busies himself fiddling with the third and fourth lines and hires two backup - read unproven - goalies to backstop a team overloaded with unprovens.

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#62 Serious Gord
April 06 2014, 10:53AM
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120 stitches wrote:

I have seasons tickets 5 rows behind the Oilers Bench. I have had a pretty good opportunity to watch Coach Eakins run his bench. He rarely displays emotion, has limited interaction with his players, does not seem to "work" the referees by questioning their decisions so you may get a close ones down the line, Rarely have I seen any fire or passion out of him. Same with his assistants who seem almost robotic with constant glum looks on their faces. The whole staff for the most part look like they are suffering from depression. I think McTavish wanted to pick a coach like him-someone who is cerebral, calm on the bench, good communicator with the media etc. The problem though as I observe it Eakins does not have the presence or gravitas that McTavish had and,in any event, McTavish was not that great a coach anyways. Take a look at the coaches that are currently winning in the NHL in contrast. Roy,Sutter,Boudreau,Babcock, Therrien, Julien, Mclellan, Hitchkock, Vigneault. They are all big personalities behind the bench- very passionate at appropriate times animated and,very interactive with their players and upbeat in contrast to our coaching staff who seem to only display any type of emotion when they frown at an Oilers mistake. We of course do not know what Eakins is like in the dressing room. From what I have seen of him though, I cannot see him giving much of a rousing speech to motivate his players. You need a strong , charismatic, dynamic personality to successfully coach an NHL hockey team these days- We do not have that with Eakins-- he seems indecisive, exhibits no passion and seems flustered much of the time. Just an example I like that Patrick Roy called out publicly yesterday the St Louis captain for going after Nathan McKinnon- saying he was not impressed with Backes going after an 18 year old. I can't see Eakins doing something like this-- he certainly did not have much to say about the Kassian incident. This is an example of the passion and leadership the current coaching staff lacks. It is clear to me Eakins has been a failure and will continue to be. For those that say we cannot change coaches because there has been too much turnover you cannot for these reasons maintain an inadequate and dysfunctional coaching staff. We have seen lots of examples of new coaching staffs come in situations where there has been lots of coaching turnover and finally get it right. Besides there is an option that may alleviate these concerns. If Todd Nelson and his staff get their team in the playoffs under such difficult circumstances he could be a strong candidate to take over. There would be a lot of continuity as he has coached very successfully a lot of these players. I am not saying he should be the new hire but he certainly should be given stronger consideration than when McTavish impulsively decided to change coaches last summer to a coach whose record was no better than Nelson's.

An excellent post in dire need of some paragraph breaks...

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#63 Al Low
April 06 2014, 10:53AM
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I think they'll keep Eakins, as well, mostly because of the foolish pride on the 'braintrust'. I understand the need for continuity but that should have been done with a more experienced NHL level hire last year. Either that, or keep Renney or Krueger. Eakins should have been brought up as an assistant because he's in over his head right now. I hope he comes back a completely different coach next year and proves us all wrong but I have my doubts. The best we can hope for is some quality assistants. I like some of the ideas on this board, like Oates and especially Huddy.

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#64 Serious Gord
April 06 2014, 10:56AM
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Gored 1970 wrote:

Why does anyone quote Bruce Garrioch? The guy either points out the obvious or he makes up rumours that make no sense. Probably the worst hockey writer ever. I'll bet he voted Ov for the first and second all-star team last year.

Keeping Eakins with an aim to fire him part way through next year makes no sense - who would coach the team the rest of the year? Bucky? All the good coaches are hired in the summer so the pickings are slim after the season starts. Wouldn't it be nice if the Preds have a brain fart and fire Barry Trotz? Somewhat better than Messier, who by the way has coached where? At least Roy learned by coaching in the Q but Messier, meh.

Barry trotz as coach. Stop toying with me...

He would be nuts - any reputable HC would be nuts - to take a job as HC with MacT/Lowe as boss.

It's not just free agent players who see what a pile of pooh this organization is, so too do the HCs in the league. Which might in part explain why the oil seems unable to hire one - stuck with hiring assistants and retired/senile ones.

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#65 Casey
April 06 2014, 11:02AM
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I dont get it. Why dosent MacT get input on Dallas (or on any coach they have)from the players? Sitting in the press box dosent really give a good view of what goes in the dressing room

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#66 Czar
April 06 2014, 11:07AM
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@Spydyr

I remember chatting with you last summer and mentioned that the new cherry koolaid still had a hint of the old grape flavor to it. I expect more of the same as well.

I was a season ticket holder for several years, driving back and forth from Red Deer but haven't attended a game for the last couple. I couldn't justify the increased cost with the decline in the on ice product so I watch at home and drink a lot.

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#67 Czar
April 06 2014, 11:15AM
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@120 stitches

"He rarely displays emotion, has limited interaction with his player"

My better half will watch the odd game with me and has mentioned this almost every time. If the casual fan sees it, why doesn't MacT? If we need to spray him with a water bottle before every game to fire him up I'll volunteer.

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#68 Oilcan
April 06 2014, 11:24AM
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Not an Eakins guy but I don't think he should be fired either. Players (especially young ones) need continuity at this level to have success with systems play. My theory for the current coaching staff is if Taylor Hall respects him (doesn't have to like him), buys into the system and performs then keep the man for More then a year, the other players should follow suit. I love yak and wish he had a better year but see what happens with him next year.

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#69 Rama Lama
April 06 2014, 11:31AM
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Eakins is still our best choice for a chance at Connor McDavid. What ever happened this year will repeat itself for next year ..........past performance is a good indicator for future performance.

Unless there is a wholesale change in upper management for symbolic reasons, the rest of the team will not improve.

Mac T will need to walk on water for a while.

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#70 Spydyr
April 06 2014, 11:39AM
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Czar wrote:

I remember chatting with you last summer and mentioned that the new cherry koolaid still had a hint of the old grape flavor to it. I expect more of the same as well.

I was a season ticket holder for several years, driving back and forth from Red Deer but haven't attended a game for the last couple. I couldn't justify the increased cost with the decline in the on ice product so I watch at home and drink a lot.

Yes, at that time I said lets see what Eakins has before we anoint him the second coming of Scotty Bowman. It did not get a very positive response here.

I have not attended a game in person the last 2.5 seasons myself and I miss it. Hope they can get their poop together soon.I want to give them my money but not till this mess is fixed.

After Connor Lowe is a goner.

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#71 Czar
April 06 2014, 11:45AM
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@Spydyr

I'll buy you a beer when that day arrives bud, gives me a couple years to save up for those Rexall beers. With any luck the DJ will have changed his 20 year old play list by then as well.

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#72 Oiler Al
April 06 2014, 11:48AM
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Oiler Al wrote:

Wake up everyone! Eakins was a Katz hire!

Eakins was the "big chase" last year, and Katz was not to be outdone by the likes of Dallas or Vancouver for the supposedly big catch in the coaching lake.

Let's get him while he's hot.. and give him what he wants.[not sure of his salary, but 4 years is a big give]

What about Kruger? O ya, well fire him on skype.

I would fire Eakins and if not him then the other three stooges behind the bench.

Nice to see that Mrs Katz,Mrs Lowe, Mrs. Eakin, Mrs Buckburger, Mrs. Smith, Mrs. Aton and the kids all chimed in here on the blog to post a "trash".

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#73 Serious Gord
April 06 2014, 11:53AM
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Oilcan wrote:

Not an Eakins guy but I don't think he should be fired either. Players (especially young ones) need continuity at this level to have success with systems play. My theory for the current coaching staff is if Taylor Hall respects him (doesn't have to like him), buys into the system and performs then keep the man for More then a year, the other players should follow suit. I love yak and wish he had a better year but see what happens with him next year.

That is flawed logic.

If you have a teacher who is incompetent at teaching you will improve your learning by switching teachers far more quickly and easily than adapting to the current teachers flawed methods.

Anyone who made it through secondary school can attest to that.

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#74 Lochenzo
April 06 2014, 11:55AM
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When everything you have done in the past has led to bad results, maybe you should try the opposite.

The opposite here would be to keep a coach past one season. This is a huge summer, not just in terms of off-season acquisitions, but also for the returning players. A structured off-season of training that is consistent with what the organization and the coach would like to see come training camp in the fall. This would be the first time in years that we could expect this.

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#75 Total Points
April 06 2014, 11:57AM
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@CurtisS

Eakins could not see that playing Hall, Eberle and RNH together was the thing to do, for that reason along he should be out.

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#76 Dog Train
April 06 2014, 12:32PM
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Hiring a rookie head coach for this inexperienced squad was a mistake. Hiring a rookie head coach with inexperienced assistants was even worse. Say what you want about Eakins, and there is certainly cause for criticism, but this mess precedes his arrival. I would keep him and fire Bucky and Smith. I totally agree with Huddy returning if he becomes available, I always liked him when he was coaching in Edmonton.

Bottom line, without improvements to this roster, we will be in this same place a year from now wondering what went wrong regardless of who is coaching us.

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#77 Serious Gord
April 06 2014, 12:45PM
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Lochenzo wrote:

When everything you have done in the past has led to bad results, maybe you should try the opposite.

The opposite here would be to keep a coach past one season. This is a huge summer, not just in terms of off-season acquisitions, but also for the returning players. A structured off-season of training that is consistent with what the organization and the coach would like to see come training camp in the fall. This would be the first time in years that we could expect this.

Wrong. The opposite would be to get some non-old boy to head the organization. And the opposite would be to engage in a proper search for a new Head Coach. Circling the wagons and defending the old boys is just more of the same approach.

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#78 Oilcan
April 06 2014, 12:46PM
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Serious Gord wrote:

That is flawed logic.

If you have a teacher who is incompetent at teaching you will improve your learning by switching teachers far more quickly and easily than adapting to the current teachers flawed methods.

Anyone who made it through secondary school can attest to that.

I get what your saying but what I saying is I don't think any coach makes this team a playoff team this year. So if Eakins and Hall are a match and Hall has become a better player this year (you could make the argument that hall would I too be this year regardless of the coach) then wait and see what Eakins can do in his second year if things remain the same then I agree 100% in getting rid of him.

If a top pick came into the league as an 18 year old and had a tough season we wouldn't want the oilers to buy their contact out but after the 2nd or 3rd year we would probably be ok with trading them away. So why is Eakins as a rookie coach not able to get a shot next year? Coaches improve too and I am sure this year had alot of lessons.

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#79 kale
April 06 2014, 01:00PM
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Oilcan wrote:

I get what your saying but what I saying is I don't think any coach makes this team a playoff team this year. So if Eakins and Hall are a match and Hall has become a better player this year (you could make the argument that hall would I too be this year regardless of the coach) then wait and see what Eakins can do in his second year if things remain the same then I agree 100% in getting rid of him.

If a top pick came into the league as an 18 year old and had a tough season we wouldn't want the oilers to buy their contact out but after the 2nd or 3rd year we would probably be ok with trading them away. So why is Eakins as a rookie coach not able to get a shot next year? Coaches improve too and I am sure this year had alot of lessons.

How long are you prepared to wait until Eakins gets it? How much collateral damage are you prepared to live with until he does if he ever does? and if he doesn't get it, then what will we have left? just saying. I am betting that more than more managers than Larianov have or will contact the GM by next year to find out what the plan is.

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#80 kale
April 06 2014, 01:02PM
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sorry i meant more agents than larianov

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#81 Serious Gord
April 06 2014, 01:24PM
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Oilcan wrote:

I get what your saying but what I saying is I don't think any coach makes this team a playoff team this year. So if Eakins and Hall are a match and Hall has become a better player this year (you could make the argument that hall would I too be this year regardless of the coach) then wait and see what Eakins can do in his second year if things remain the same then I agree 100% in getting rid of him.

If a top pick came into the league as an 18 year old and had a tough season we wouldn't want the oilers to buy their contact out but after the 2nd or 3rd year we would probably be ok with trading them away. So why is Eakins as a rookie coach not able to get a shot next year? Coaches improve too and I am sure this year had alot of lessons.

It's very simple really:

Did Eakins make this team play above or below its capabilities? Were/are there other options who could have done a better job?

If the answers are "below" and "yes" respectively, then he should be replaced forthwith.

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#82 Spydyr
April 06 2014, 01:36PM
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The you have to keep Eakins because you don't want to bring in a new coach again argument is rubbish.

On the way up most of these players switched coaches and systems every couple years.It is part of advancing through hockey.

The only criteria Eakins should be judged on is did the team move forward or did the team regress under his time here.

The answer is obvious and so is what should happen to Eakins.

Now the issue is Lowe will not allow a coach that is a threat to his position to be hired.Nor will a seasoned NHL coach with options want to work under Lowe.

That is all on Katz.

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#83 Oilcan
April 06 2014, 01:47PM
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Serious Gord wrote:

It's very simple really:

Did Eakins make this team play above or below its capabilities? Were/are there other options who could have done a better job?

If the answers are "below" and "yes" respectively, then he should be replaced forthwith.

You don't know the answer to either that is the problem, if you can name a coach out there that is available that makes the team a playoff team then for sure hire him, there are no guarantees though so why risk it?

Again I don't think Eakins is the best coach in the world but he isn't the worst either, next year will be a better tell of what kind of coach he is, a good coach adapts and seeks ways to improve his team and himself...I am just curious how he will do next year.

I know you want him fired so who do the oilers hire next year? Or who would have hired this year (or kept Ralph)?

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#84 Serious Gord
April 06 2014, 01:56PM
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Oilcan wrote:

You don't know the answer to either that is the problem, if you can name a coach out there that is available that makes the team a playoff team then for sure hire him, there are no guarantees though so why risk it?

Again I don't think Eakins is the best coach in the world but he isn't the worst either, next year will be a better tell of what kind of coach he is, a good coach adapts and seeks ways to improve his team and himself...I am just curious how he will do next year.

I know you want him fired so who do the oilers hire next year? Or who would have hired this year (or kept Ralph)?

I think the team'a record speaks for itself and there is plenty of analysis of Eakins to go along with it (have you read ANY analysis that shows Eakins to be a good coach?) - Eakins has not helped this team improve. So I think the answer to question number one is pretty clear.

As for the second; from my position I cannot say with any preciseness who - specifically would be the best choice.

But unless you are saying that Eakins was the very best option that was available to MacT when he was hired or that no better option will be available between now and September, (and MacT certainly can't as he never engaged in a true search for a HC) there absolutely are options - better ones - than Eakins.

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#85 Fuhr4Life
April 06 2014, 01:57PM
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@CMG30

I totally agree with you! I can see us jumping 25 OT's just based on improved solid goaltending, upgraded D core. Then take into account the kids are still really young and they will all take another big jump in their progression especially not having to deal with learning yet another new system. People forget how good these kids have been considered 4 different coaches! A legit 2C (I like Anisomov, big skilled guy who would help Yak (russian connection) on and off the ice be the player he can be. And a Top 2 LD (eg Sekera, Mezaros, not too pricey), and 2 power forwards one of which can score 20-30 goals).

2015 playoffs here we come!

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#86 Towersofdub
April 06 2014, 02:11PM
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rookie coach learning the NHL coaching gig, with a team missing major NHL caliber pieces. That's all there is to say about it. Get over it.

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#87 David S
April 06 2014, 02:20PM
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CurtisS wrote:

Sad news for Oiler fans if he begins next season.

This guy couldnt figure out that this team wins more by playing Hall RNH Eberle together. Playing them for only 40% of games played this season, well no wonder our record is what it is.

Our Winning % with the big 3 playing together is .700 and with them split apart its .450 yet we only play them in 40% of the games this year?!?!?!

Our PP another black hole in his coaching. No way this roster with the previous success is this bad. The 1-3-1 isnt working Eakins!!!

#GreatestTankBattles

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#88 Al Low
April 06 2014, 02:25PM
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Rick Stroppel wrote:

YAKUPOV IS KEY

You mean like Jacques Martin ruined Alexandre Daigle's career? Daigle's stats in his first two years in the NHL were very comparable to Yakupov's. In his third year the doo-doo hit the fan: 17 points in 50 games, minus 33.

I assume the evaluation of Eakins will include FRANK discussions with all the players. In business they call this "360 degree performance review". If Yakupov says "I like Eakins and I think I can succeed with him" that should be a substantial (not conclusive) factor. Ditto if he says "he's the worst coach I ever had and I really don't get what he's trying to do with the team".

A number one overall pick is a precious resource and the Oilers are wasting this one.

The Oilers management would not be so stupid as to make this coaching decision without seeking input from all the players...would they?

With Katz, 6Rings, MacT and Howson calling the shots, they would be that stupid. These guys are still basking in the glory of 5 Stanley Cups and the 2006 run. Idiots.

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#89 Oilcan
April 06 2014, 02:35PM
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Serious Gord wrote:

I think the team'a record speaks for itself and there is plenty of analysis of Eakins to go along with it (have you read ANY analysis that shows Eakins to be a good coach?) - Eakins has not helped this team improve. So I think the answer to question number one is pretty clear.

As for the second; from my position I cannot say with any preciseness who - specifically would be the best choice.

But unless you are saying that Eakins was the very best option that was available to MacT when he was hired or that no better option will be available between now and September, (and MacT certainly can't as he never engaged in a true search for a HC) there absolutely are options - better ones - than Eakins.

Fair argument, I'm just of the mindset that even the best coach doesn't win enough to make playoffs this year with this team.

I am more concerned about adding players that will make this team more competitive then hoping another coach can. I don't know anything about what goes on in practice and 1 on 1 with players to say anything. But I do know the players that make up the team aren't good enough. Improve the D first and then worry about the coach.

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#90 Walter Sobchak
April 06 2014, 02:48PM
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Lordy.

Eakins is only one of the many issues involving this team, you have to remember back, MacTavish ( paraphrasing) " this guy thinks like me, I liked the way he coached against my team in the AHL"

Like LT said, you could put Bowman in as coach and as long as the team in front of him consists of AHL players, defected Or defective KHLers and a bunch of kids as your starting roster, then have ALL the MSM kiss your ass because you made decisions that last GM was too inept to make or consider doesn't make you a rock star!

It just means your a step up from the last fool who thought he was a genius.

If you need any third and forth liners call MacTavish he has a two teams full of them.

What can you expect this summer?

He's already thrown it out there that what the Oilers need is a strong 3rd pairing D-Man......see Greene, Matt for more information.

You like Gagner? Good, trust me when I say MacTavish will move him to RW way before he trades him!!

Thus, expect a kid to be moved, Yakupov? Possible, but it makes little sense to get pennies on the dollar, think Eberle but don't be surprised if both go.

Eakins & MacTavish are a pair, they think the same & value the same kinds of players,(Fraser) that's what scary part of this whole Eakins debate, wait until this team is void of skill and dump, chase, bang, rinse and repeat become this teams standard.

Think Maple Leaf's & Marlies hockey.

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#91 6 ring circus
April 06 2014, 02:53PM
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I heard Universal studios is coming out with a new Three Stooges movie and Katz,Lowe and Eakins were offered the staring roles.Can anyone confirm the rumor?

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#92 mlcselli
April 06 2014, 03:02PM
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@Retsinnab5

My concern is if Eakins stays, Yak will get traded. Eakins doesn't like him and it is obvious by how he uses him. Ralph brought out the best in Yak and he had all kinds of confidence. Eakins comes in and in no time destroyed it. What a shame!!!!!!

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#93 gcw_rocks
April 06 2014, 03:17PM
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Giving the coach a pass because of the quality of the defence is by implication an indictment of the GM who assembled it. MacT's "let's throw lots of spaghetti at the wall and see what sticks" approach to procuring defenders had been a dismal failure.

Fire them all to be safe...

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#94 CMG30
April 06 2014, 03:21PM
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Chainsawz wrote:

Do you not pay attention to other coaching changes that happen in the NHL? Bring the right guy for the right team and it works out fine. There's no evidence that is the case with Eakins and the Oilers.

Selective evidence. Works with some teams and not others, see NY vs Vancouver. For every team that has success with a coaching change I'll show you two that either failed or made no difference and the Oilers being a prime example. The Oilers have tried 4 guys over the past 4 years. After each change the team has managed to get worse. Why in the world would anyone think number 5 is going to be any different?

I won't argue that there might be a 'perfect fit' out there that nobody can see, but in reality where do you propose we find this miracle worker? This magician that can spin gold out of a team who's best Dman is an AHL callup?

No, firing yet another coach stands to do far more harm than good to this team. The Oilers need to stand pat on Eakins until the rest of the team is fixed. Once you can honestly look at the team and wonder why they're not winning then you can look at coaching.

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#95 JJ
April 06 2014, 03:42PM
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You can take the Oil out of the Tank... But you can't take the Tank out of the Oil.

#BeBadForEkblad2014

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#96 billythebullet
April 06 2014, 04:26PM
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KSC10032 wrote:

I've said it before,...

Firing Eakins -- or any other coach -- is the easy part. The hard part is who do you replace him with???!!!

Well, all you members of the angry, torch-bearing mob? What is your -- realistic, mind you -- alternative? If you haven't got one, then "shadduppp!!!

Mike Keenen. Todd Nelson. Adam Oates. Charlie Huddy.

Some good candidates that could possibly be available to create a new coaching staff.

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#97 beloch
April 06 2014, 04:32PM
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"Next season should be stronger because of the foundation built in 2013-14. "

We can all agree that the first part of building a foundation is to dig a big freakin' pit in the ground. Unfortunately, the next step typically is not to have everyone line up on the edge of the pit, pee into the pit, and then congratulate each other on the distances achieved.

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#98 Saytalk
April 06 2014, 04:48PM
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Rick Stroppel wrote:

YAKUPOV IS KEY

You mean like Jacques Martin ruined Alexandre Daigle's career? Daigle's stats in his first two years in the NHL were very comparable to Yakupov's. In his third year the doo-doo hit the fan: 17 points in 50 games, minus 33.

I assume the evaluation of Eakins will include FRANK discussions with all the players. In business they call this "360 degree performance review". If Yakupov says "I like Eakins and I think I can succeed with him" that should be a substantial (not conclusive) factor. Ditto if he says "he's the worst coach I ever had and I really don't get what he's trying to do with the team".

A number one overall pick is a precious resource and the Oilers are wasting this one.

The Oilers management would not be so stupid as to make this coaching decision without seeking input from all the players...would they?

I was thinking that Jacques Martin is the exact coach that this team needs to go from being a cellar dweller to a team that can consistently make the playoffs. He turned the Ottawa Senators from a bunch of individualistic prospects into a well-structured team. The vanity jersey numbers were all converted into position-based numbers; high draft picks like Bonk, Hossa and Havlat learned to play a 200 foot game; less dedicated players like Daigle were flushed; and defencemen like Redden, Chara and Phillips were able to steadily improve and gain confidence in a system where the forwards provided them with defensive zone support.

A coach's job is to make the whole worth more than the sum of its parts. Martin can do it, but Eakins clearly can't.

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#99 He Who Knows
April 06 2014, 05:22PM
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This organization is a pile of steamy dog poo. Aren't they embarrassed yet? The entire hockey world is laughing at management and the whole structure. How can they still feel entitled? Everyone and I mean everyone is laughing at them. Panthers fans make fun of the oilers on their forums. Ouch!

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#100 OldSchool
April 06 2014, 05:27PM
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Spydyr wrote:

The you have to keep Eakins because you don't want to bring in a new coach again argument is rubbish.

On the way up most of these players switched coaches and systems every couple years.It is part of advancing through hockey.

The only criteria Eakins should be judged on is did the team move forward or did the team regress under his time here.

The answer is obvious and so is what should happen to Eakins.

Now the issue is Lowe will not allow a coach that is a threat to his position to be hired.Nor will a seasoned NHL coach with options want to work under Lowe.

That is all on Katz.

Agree about not sticking with Eakins. That's like saying, I'm tired of changing girlfriends every year so I'm going to marry the one I happen to be with today.

Poor reasoning behind a major decision.

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