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Belov left Oilers for KHL because he didn’t want to play for Eakins

Apr 21, 2014, 10:24 AM EDT

Anton Belov Getty Images

Anton Belov‘s sudden departure from the Edmonton Oilers for the KHL came out of nowhere.

The young Russian defenseman had just finished his first season in the NHL and looked to be someone the team could use in the future for their struggling blue line.

But why did he leave so suddenly? Turns out he wasn’t a big fan of coach Dallas Eakins.

Things were bad in Edmonton this season as the team finished with the third-worst record in the NHL. Eakins’ handle on things in his first season behind the bench for the Oilers always appeared to be a bit too interesting. Belov saying he didn’t want to play for him won’t help many with their opinion of either Eakins or Belov. He was set to become an unrestricted free agent this summer.

Belov played 57 games with Edmonton this season and had a goal and six assists and averaged nearly 18 minutes per game of ice time. After taking off after a tough season, it might be a while before we see Belov back in the NHL, if he comes back at all.

  1. tomas3345 - Apr 21, 2014 at 10:26 AM

    Russian hate in the comments incoming in

  2. canucks30 - Apr 21, 2014 at 10:43 AM

    Belov must have been the person Eakins was referencing here:

  3. habhaters11 - Apr 21, 2014 at 10:43 AM

    I love Russia

  4. 2qswing - Apr 21, 2014 at 10:51 AM

    No Russian hate here. Guy cant say he was buried on the bench or in the doghouse. 18 min average toi in 57 games and a -12. He got a shot and has decided to go back to the minors. No big deal here. Keep your yap shut and just leave. Russian or not.
    I guess I didn’t notice all the teams lining up to making Edmonton offers for this disgruntled player.

  5. mlhegs - Apr 21, 2014 at 11:05 AM

    I thought that a GM was paid to see this kind of problem before you bring them. Does nothing to improve my opinion of Eakins, Mac T(wit) or Low. Expect more mediocrity at best.

  6. timmylaz99 - Apr 21, 2014 at 1:17 PM

    The team will continue to be in disarray until the Oilers stop hiring old players. Their dynasty is long gone – time to move forward!

  7. pavelfitzgerald - Apr 21, 2014 at 4:04 PM

    Edmonton’s a mess & Eakins seems like another Torts. I can’t blame this kid for going home to play for similar money & not deal with a coach from the Stone Age.
    I’m sure we could all relate to having to work for a boss you really didn’t like, the only difference is he exercised his option to move to a different enviornment

  8. Hard to BeLeaf - Apr 22, 2014 at 11:14 PM

    I don’t blame Russians or any of Europeans for wanting to go back home to play… especially guys who aren’t top line guys.

    It’s not just a Russian thing either. You see a lot of decent Swedes and Finns who are more than good enough to be in the NHL, go back and play at home. Russians get the reputation for it because the KHL pays the most comparible to the NHL and they draw more players back than the other leagues in Europe.

    In the NHL these guys might only be depth players, but in Europe they can be top line guys. They can make comparable money to the NHL and the icing on the cake is they get to play in front of family and friends at home, which is always a massive perk.

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