It seems like Edmonton Oilers general manager Craig MacTavish has to back head coach Dallas Eakins on a weekly basis. Leading an extremely talented and youthful roster to a 20-33-7 record in a year that was supposed to mark a playoff berth will lead to questions from a struggling and tortured fanbase, however.
MacTavish is one again sticking up for Eakins in the press despite Edmonton’s lack of results out on the ice. He spoke to Terry Jones of The Edmonton Sun and has this to say:
I still feel strongly Dallas Eakins is going to be the guy to lead this group for a long time… I just like the coaching. I like a lot of what he does. I’m a real believer in his leadership ability. He possesses all the qualities I hold in high esteem. The messaging is consistent and relentless. He has a commitment to a style of play that I believe will be successful. 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.
It’s good that at least one person has some belief in Eakins and his ability to lead this Oilers team out of the NHL’s basement. The team has cycled through coaches at an alarming rate over the last few seasons, so at least it won’t be a three-and-out situation for Eakins, and Edmonton’s players know they’ll be coming back to the same voice when training camp kicks off next year.