Skip to content

‘This team is going to compete,’ vows new Oilers coach Eakins

Jun 10, 2013, 4:23 PM EDT

Dallas Eakins

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.”

Related: Lowe reiterates Oilers’ willingess to trade seventh overall pick

  1. hockeyflow33 - Jun 10, 2013 at 5:17 PM

    I wonder if they hired him via Skype?

  2. rca26 - Jun 10, 2013 at 5:43 PM

    He looks positively tickled by the opportunity.

  3. canucks30 - Jun 10, 2013 at 6:07 PM

    “This team is going to compete…”

    for the 1st Overall Pick

  4. scionofflame - Jun 10, 2013 at 8:40 PM

    I can’t get over how -intense- that dude looks. Seriously. Every picture I’ve seen used of him so far looks so stoic. I can’t imagine how tense his Pierre McGuire interviews might get.

  5. sportsfan69 - Jun 10, 2013 at 9:22 PM

    Yeah, they should compete next year. Edmonton, like EVERY TEAM IN THE WESTERN CONFERENCE has OVER A 50 PERCENT chance of making the playoffs. Who created this stupid realignment????

  6. sportsfan69 - Jun 10, 2013 at 9:24 PM

    Morons are Us, the Broad of Governors?

  7. DTF31 - Jun 10, 2013 at 9:41 PM

    This team isn’t competing any time soon unless the Oilers get a top pairing and a legitimate third line.

  8. sportbuff99 - Jun 11, 2013 at 2:59 AM

    We saw first-hand Dallas’s people skills years ago when he played in Cincinnati. At the time, he was the team’s player rep for the union. He’s intense and passionate about the game and does whatever it takes to get the job done. Congrats Dallas! Can’t wait to see what you do with the Oilers!

  9. valoisvipers - Jun 12, 2013 at 11:29 AM

    I say that the Oilers will make the playoffs next season.

Sign up for Fantasy hockey

Top 10 NHL Player Searches
  1. R. Johansen (2359)
  2. J. Harding (2050)
  3. D. Alfredsson (1569)
  4. S. Crosby (1502)
  5. J. Quick (1363)
  1. D. Kuemper (1362)
  2. S. Bennett (1282)
  3. A. Ovechkin (1117)
  4. B. Schenn (1092)
  5. K. Timonen (1072)