Skip to content

Coach Eakins: Don’t call Oilers ‘young’

Sep 10, 2013, 9:59 AM EDT

dallaseakinsgetty Getty Images

Dallas Eakins is the latest in a long line of head coaches that have walked through the Edmonton Oilers’ revolving doors in recent years. He’ll be the fifth bench boss this team has had in just six years after Ralph Krueger was fired following a mere 48-game stint.

This is a team that’s desperately trying to move away from rebuilding after missing the playoffs for seven straight seasons. With that in mind, Eakins wants people to start looking at the Oilers in a different way.

“I’ve asked the media here to stop referring to our team as a young team,” Eakins told the Toronto Star. “You do that and really you’re just talking about a few individuals and alienating a bunch of the other guys. Usually when people talk about a young team its means it’s OK to lose. Well, it’s not OK.

“We’re an NHL team with expectations.”

Of course, the core of this team is still relatively young, but not devoid of NHL experience. Taylor Hall and Jordan Eberle are gearing up for their fourth campaign. Years of poor showings have allowed them to draft a great group of skilled forwards, but Eakins’ team still has plenty to prove when it comes to defense and toughness.

He’ll also have to deal with injuries early on as Ryan Nugent-Hopkins is projected to miss the first month of the season. To that end, he’s asked Hall to practice taking faceoffs in the hope that he can at least temporarily shift from the left wing to center.

“If it doesn’t work, it won’t be Taylor’s fault,” Eakins said. “Maybe it’ll work or maybe the coach is just crazy.”

Either way, Eakins is “all in” and determined to end the cycle of losing.

Latest Posts
  1. ‘Hawks 2011 first-round pick Danault told to emulate Kruger

    Jul 24, 2014, 11:08 PM EDT

    Phillip Danault Getty Images

    In other words, they want him to be a shutdown center

  2. Julien points to Eriksson as answer to Iginla departure

    Jul 24, 2014, 10:14 PM EDT

    louierikssongetty Getty Images

    Eriksson’s looking to bounce back after suffering two concussions last season.

  3. Booth eager to prove he ‘can play in this League again’

    Jul 24, 2014, 9:06 PM EDT

    NEWARK, NJ - OCTOBER 24: David Booth #7 of the Vancouver Canucks skates against the New Jersey Devils at the Prudential Center on October 24, 2013 in Newark, New Jersey. The Canucks defeated the Devils 3-2 in the shootout. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images) Getty Images

    He’ll get a fresh start after struggling with Vancouver.

  4. Jets re-sign Ellerby despite not qualifying him

    Jul 24, 2014, 8:00 PM EDT

    Keaton Ellerby Getty Images

    He’s coming back after testing the free agent waters.

  5. Flames sign Ortio for two more years

    Jul 24, 2014, 5:53 PM EDT

    Joni Ortio Getty Images

    He started in nine games for the Flames last season.

  6. Vancouver signs ’14 first-rounder Jared McCann

    Jul 24, 2014, 4:42 PM EDT

    Jared McCann Getty Images

    The Canucks selected him with one of the picks they got from the Ryan Kesler trade.

  7. Eller, Habs agree to four-year, $14 million contract

    Jul 24, 2014, 3:31 PM EDT

    Lars Eller Getty Images

    The two sides managed to avoid arbitration despite a $1.45 million gap on a one-year deal.

  8. B’s re-sign Warsofsky: one year, $600,000

    Jul 24, 2014, 3:15 PM EDT

    DavidWarsofsky Getty Images

    Alternately known as “the guy Boston got for Vladimir Sobotka.”

  9. Veteran NHLer Pyatt signs in Swiss league

    Jul 24, 2014, 2:19 PM EDT

    Taylor Pyatt

    Journeyman split last season between the Rangers and Penguins.

  10. Avs ‘confident’ they’ll reach deal with Barrie, says Sakic

    Jul 24, 2014, 1:20 PM EDT

    Tyson Barrie #4 of the Colorado Avalanche and head coach Patrick Roy appear on the bench during their preseason game against the Los Angeles Kings at the MGM Grand Garden Arena on September 28, 2013 in Las Vegas, Nevada. Colorado won 3-2.
(September 27, 2013 - Source: Ethan Miller/Getty Images North America) Getty Images

    Offensive d-man led all Colorado blueliners in goals last year, with 13.

  11. Isles, Poulin avoid arbitration with one-year, two-way deal

    Jul 24, 2014, 12:22 PM EDT

    Kevin Poulin

    He’s likely to be the No. 3 goalie in New York this year.

  12. Bruins name Sacco assistant coach

    Jul 24, 2014, 11:26 AM EDT

    Joe Sacco AP

    Former Colorado bench boss and Massachusetts native returns home.

  13. Avs hope to learn from ‘nightmare’ playoff finish

    Jul 24, 2014, 9:00 AM EDT

    Minnesota Wild v Colorado Avalanche - Game Seven Getty Images

    “Maybe it just wasn’t our time yet,” Patrick Roy said.

  14. PHT Morning Skate: What to do with Niemi?

    Jul 24, 2014, 8:00 AM EDT

    Antti Niemi AP

    Thursday’s assortment of links.

  15. Babcock on analytics: ‘I love the information’

    Jul 23, 2014, 11:00 PM EDT

    mikebabcockgetty Getty Images

    Makes sense for a franchise that frequently favors puck possession.

  16. Florida phases out ‘Lady Panthers’

    Jul 23, 2014, 9:00 PM EDT

    Pittsburgh Penguins v Florida Panthers Getty Images

    They’ll feature a “skating-only” ice crew next season.

Featured video

Bettman hears the boos in Philly
Top 10 NHL Player Searches
  1. S. Crosby (1802)
  2. L. Stempniak (1682)
  3. D. Roy (1421)
  4. A. Rome (1258)
  5. C. Franson (1250)
  1. R. O'Reilly (1224)
  2. D. Booth (1137)
  3. R. Nash (1127)
  4. M. Ribeiro (1025)
  5. P. Subban (1015)