We returned late last night from a jaunty jaunt to Las Vegas. We locked eyes with Joe Jonas, slapped hands with Enrique Iglesias and stood 5 feet away from a grumpy looking Lil Jon. To say that it was the experience of a lifetime is an understatement.
So we are just getting our head wrapped around the recent renovations that Coach Eakins made to the dressing room Chez Oil. Old news to you perhaps but to a level 156 fanboy still floating in celebrity sighting heaven it’s news over here.
No more does the hockey rink with the old copper and blue Oilers logo cover the carpet in the center of the room. The ‘Once an Oiler, Always an Oiler’ wall has been removed as well, adding to the list of alterations to the dressing room at Rexall Place.
“I think when a coach takes over he needs to change things in the room just for the sake of changing them sometimes,” said Eakins. “With that being said, when I went through it I have a vision for our dressing room. Believe me, we’re not done in there yet.
“We were under the gun just to get what we have done so far. Each day, more will be added. First and foremost, we wanted to brighten it up a little bit… We have moved some pictures and plaques and we’re going to put them out for our fans to enjoy.”
Whoa whoa whoa. Eakins has a vision for the design of the Oilers dressing room? Who does this guy think he is Antoni Gaudi? Does dressing room decor fall under the responsibilities list of an NHL head coach job posting? Does he have a vision for the pregame show too? Does his ambitious approach to the game know no bounds?
We cannot recall a coach in the history of the game of hockey – one with nary an NHL game on the bench under his belt – make so many changes in such a short span of time. At the same time Eakins manages to acknowledge that us Oilers fans exist and put the memorabilia on display for us to look at. Shouldn’t he be taking us for granted and offhandedly reminding us that you can pre-purchase mini packs for 2023 starting on Monday?
Yes this Dallas Eakins is certainly making some waves isn’t he.
ON THE ONE HAND
It’s great that Eakins is grabbing a broom and chasing the ghosts of TBOTB out of the dressing room at Rexall Place. As anyone with more than a passing interest in the team can tell you the Oil have been using the 80s as a crutch for far too long. Refusing to refer to the team as a "young team" anymore is incredible too.
It seems as though this guy wants to win and wants to win immediately and changing the culture of the room requires an immediate series of deliberate steps. Waiting and assessing can only prolong a torturous process as we have all witnessed in watching the office of the General Manager these past few seasons.
ON THE OTHER HAND
What the heck is wrong with a plaque that reads "once an Oiler always an Oiler" hanging in the dressing room? We can’t help but wonder what Lowe, MacT and Co think about all these changes and breaks with tradition before a single regular season game has been played. The original #4 still points to his Cup rings as a player as a testament to his success as a GM for heaven’s sakes.
That doesn’t strike us as the kind of boss that wants all evidence of his earlier dominance put out to pasture in the concourse of the arena for us rabble to stare at open mouthed while we line up for $1000 beers.
Is Eakins right to renovate the dressing room within an inch of it’s life? Is this overkill or a necessary part of the rebuild which has now officially kicked into high gear.
Holler at your boy in the comments will you?