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GM MacTavish ‘strongly’ believes Eakins will coach Oilers ‘for a long time’

Feb 26, 2014, 10:10 AM EDT

Craig MacTavish. AP

The Edmonton Oilers were supposed to at least compete for a playoff spot this season. Instead they have the second worst record in the NHL.

It certainly hasn’t been the rookie campaign that head coach Dallas Eakins had hoped for and he’s well aware of the fact that he could be fired.

For what it’s worth though, Oilers GM Craig MacTavish is publicly standing by the bench boss.

“I still feel strongly Dallas Eakins is going to be the guy to lead this group for a long time,” MacTavish told the Edmonton Sun.

He added, “In my mind, Dallas has had a lot to deal with this year and he’s been unflappable every day I’ve dealt with him.”

Of course, it wouldn’t be unprecedented for a general manager to support a coach and then fire him, but at some point the Oilers need to try sticking with a bench boss. Eakins is the team’s fifth coach in six seasons. To put it another way, Taylor Hall is just 22 years old and he’s already on his third NHL coach.

That seems to be a point that MacTavish agrees with as he went on to speak of the need for the Oilers to have consistency in message and coaching. Perhaps if they manage that then their results won’t be so consistently bad.

Related:

Oilers owner shares frustration in letter to fans

  1. bcsteele - Feb 26, 2014 at 10:23 AM

    Kiss of death….

  2. bsaures - Feb 26, 2014 at 10:41 AM

    What I still dont get is why people said he was so good at developing players when he coached for the marlies. The only forward in the top 9 he would have “developed” was Kadri and he was a 7th overall pick that took forever to make it. The D he didnt do much with either..

  3. rushledger - Feb 26, 2014 at 10:50 AM

    In fairness to Kadri they buried him in the minors a good while longer than they should have.

    I don’t disagree with the gm’s statement though, what’s the point of a coach switch again? The team is horrid don’t see how another bench boss will save the day.

  4. jernster21 - Feb 26, 2014 at 11:51 AM

    Good news for the rest of the NHL.

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