Jun 10, 2013, 4:23 PM EDT
Dallas Eakins wants to get to know the Edmonton Oilers. And he wants to do it soon, because until he knows each of them individually, he won’t know how to motivate them.
In other words, get ready for lots of coffee and lunch dates, guys.
“The way you coach players now is you get them one on one,” Eakins said today during his introduction as the new head coach of the Oilers.
“You’ve got to know them inside out.”
In addition to vowing to discover each of his players’ unique motivations, inspirations, and goals, Eakins made one big, overriding promise: “This team is going to compete.”
The Oilers — stocked with three first overall draft picks and other top, young prospects — missed the playoffs for the seventh straight time in 2013. As a result, Steve Tambellini was fired as general manager and replaced with Craig MacTavish and head coach Ralph Krueger was dismissed in favor of Eakins.
According to MacTavish, the Oilers met with Eakins last Saturday in Toronto for four hours. Immediately, it was felt that Eakins would be “better served in a primary role” as opposed to taking on a “secondary position” like associate coach. A follow-up meeting occurred Sunday and a contract was negotiated during the week.
Today, MacTavish lauded Eakins for his ability to relate well to young players, which was “important to us for obvious reasons.”
The Oilers’ GM also called Eakins “unflappable” throughout the entire hiring process — a trait that will surely be tested in a hockey-mad market that’s desperate for a winner.
“This isn’t about winning one game or winning one season,” Eakins said. “We want to be in the mix every year to win.”
- Voracek turns monster season into massive eight-year deal 45
- Report: Canucks, Sutter closing in on five-year deal, north of $20M 24
- Voynov serving sentence at jail that once advertised it had flat screen TVs 45
- Report: Bernier and Leafs more than $2 million apart ahead of Friday’s arbitration hearing 11
- Flyers re-sign Couturier: six years, $26 million 40
- Benning calls Sutter a ‘foundation piece’ for Canucks 24
- Here’s a chart that shows which teams have been good/bad at drafting 40
- Penguins sign Fehr to three-year, $6 million contract 22
- Trade: Penguins send Sutter to Canucks for Bonino, Clendening 54
- NBC Sports to broadcast 105 NHL games in 2015-16 58
- Bettman says NHL would have to ‘consider’ putting Quebec City in the Western Conference (70)
- Rangers sign Stepan — six years, $39 million (62)
- NBC Sports to broadcast 105 NHL games in 2015-16 (58)
- Trade: Penguins send Sutter to Canucks for Bonino, Clendening (54)
- Voynov serving sentence at jail that once advertised it had flat screen TVs (45)