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. Benning calls Sutter a ‘foundation piece’ for Canucks

    Jul 28, 2015, 1:45 PM EDT

    Pittsburgh Penguins v New York Rangers - Game One Getty Images

    “When the games mean something, that’s when he’s at his best.”

  2. Here’s a chart that shows which teams have been good/bad at drafting

    Jul 28, 2015, 1:21 PM EDT

    Chicago Blackhawks v Columbus Blue Jackets Getty Images

    The Blue Jackets have done well. The Canucks have not.

  3. Leafs sign Marner to entry-level contract

    Jul 28, 2015, 12:34 PM EDT

    Mitchell Marner AP

    Probably looking at another year of junior hockey.

  4. Agent: Kruger ‘will be patient’ with Chicago’s cap situation

    Jul 28, 2015, 9:00 AM EDT

    Marcus Kruger Getty Images

    25-year-old didn’t file for arbitration, hoping instead to sign a long-term contract.

  5. Report: Antropov mulling NHL return

    Jul 27, 2015, 9:29 PM EDT

    Nik Antropov Getty Images

    But are any teams mulling his return?

  6. Mayers returning to ‘Hawks in front office role

    Jul 27, 2015, 8:21 PM EDT

    jamalmayersgetty Getty Images

    Where he’ll work as a community liaison.

  7. ‘I don’t want to play in the AHL next year,’ says Detroit’s Callahan

    Jul 27, 2015, 6:21 PM EDT

    MitchCallahan Getty Images

    24-year-old forward would require waivers to be sent down…

  8. Still unsigned, Briere contemplating retirement

    Jul 27, 2015, 5:22 PM EDT

    Vancouver Canucks v Colorado Avalanche Vancouver Canucks v Colorado Avalanche

    “I’ll have to start thinking about it more and more in the next couple of weeks.”

  9. Avs ink former first-rounder Hishon to one-year deal

    Jul 27, 2015, 3:26 PM EDT

    Hishon2 Getty Images

    Looking to become a full-time NHLer after suffering a series of injuries at the start his pro career.

Top 10 NHL Player Searches
  1. B. Holtby (2773)
  2. G. Bettman (2375)
  3. A. Larsson (2258)
  4. D. Stepan (2031)
  5. C. Ehrhoff (1645)
  1. P. Datsyuk (1570)
  2. A. Semin (1549)
  3. R. Johansen (1529)
  4. C. Smith (1507)
  5. A. Anisimov (1489)