Finally! Eakins gets to pick his staff

Jason Gregor
June 12 2014 10:07AM


Despite what the Oilers said publicly, I never believed that Dallas Eakins had the freedom to pick his entire coaching staff last year. I also understand that what teams say to the media isn't always the complete truth. I never expected him to say it wasn't his choice, but a year later it is clear that Eakins has the autonomy to pick his staff.

Craig Ramsay is in, Kelly Buchberger has been reassigned within the organization. Steve Smith is contemplating a different role on the coaching staff, while Freddy Chabot's contract expires this month. Many teams are making changes with their goaltending coaches, so we could see a bit of a rotation amongst guys like Chabot.

I believe every head coach should have the authority to select his assistants, and the addition of Ramsay has improved the experience on the staff. It will likely make them more cohesive. 

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How has scouting changed?

Jason Gregor
June 09 2014 05:06PM


David Conte has worked with the New Jersey Devils for 30 years, and he has been their director of scouting for the past 21. In 2006, he was promoted to executive vice president, but he still is heavily involved with scouting.

In the 1990s the Devils had an incredible run of drafting success. Their 1990 draft class had 10 players play at least 116 games. Between 1989-2000 they had 27 draft picks play 400+ games, and many of them were solid NHL players.

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OATES: "My mindset is I want to be a head coach."

Jason Gregor
June 02 2014 11:21AM


Adam Oates was fired after only two seasons in Washington. His Capitals had the 8th most points in the shortened 2013 season, but missed the playoffs by three points this year. The Capitals cleaned house firing Oates and longtime GM, George McPhee.

Oates is currently working on the CBC panel during the playoffs, and I spoke with him last week to get his thoughts on coaching, the playoffs and one of his former teammates, Brian Sutherby.

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Jason Gregor
May 30 2014 01:25PM


In four weeks the Canadian teams will be front and centre at the draft. Currently the Oilers select 3rd, the Flames are 4th, Vancouver is 6th, Toronto is 8th and Winnipeg sits 9th. The Senators would have given Canada 60% of the first ten picks, but Anaheim owns their pick due to last summer's Bobby Ryan trade.

While the Oilers lack experience on the ice, they have a significant amount of experience selecting near the top of the draft. I spoke with head amateur scout Stu MacGregor on my radio show earlier this week and we discussed the Oil Kings, Sam Reinhart, Sam Bennett, Leon Draisaitl and a few of the other top picks.

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Jason Gregor
May 28 2014 12:26PM


Kyle Woodlief is the chief scout and publisher of the Red Line Report. He is a former NHL scout and has been involved in the draft for years. The Red Line Report has been a very good source for the draft in the past, and I caught up with Woodlief to get his thoughts on the Memorial Cup, the Edmonton Oil Kings and the top centres in this year's draft class; Sam Bennett, Sam Reinhart and Leon Draisaitl.

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