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Oilers coach clears out many glory days items from locker room

Sep 16, 2013, 9:47 AM EDT

Taylor Hall #4 of the Edmonton Oilers walks to the locker room following warm ups to the NHL game against the Phoenix Coyotes at Jobing.com Arena on December 15, 2011 in Glendale, Arizona.
(December 14, 2011 - Source: Christian Petersen/Getty Images North America) Getty Images

Edmonton Oilers coach Dallas Eakins is looking for ways to get the Edmonton Oilers to move past the rebuilding stage and it looks like part of his answer involves taking a step away from their past, based on an Edmonton Sun report.

In the 1980s, the Oilers were a stacked team worthy of the dynasty label and until recently, their locker room was a shine to that, complete with plaques, pictures, and the names of the team’s former greats. That’s not the case anymore.

Eakins wants to make sure that his players feel like it’s their dressing room, rather than Mark Messier’s. With that in mind, he’s made some significant changes. Among other things, many of the pictures have been removed and will be replaced by photos of those currently serving on the team.

When it comes to Eakins’ coaching staff and the team’s upper management, the new head coach is somewhat unique due to his lack of connection with the glory days Oilers. President Kevin Lowe, GM Craig MacTavish, and Eakins’ assistant coaches all won the Cup with Edmonton.

Their presence gave deeper meaning to the “Once An Oiler – Always An Oiler” sign — which, by the way, has also been removed.

“Listen, when we walk in that door, there’s five Stanley Cups standing there,” Eakins said. “That’s a great piece of history. That’s the only thing that counts.”

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