Dallas Eakins..what went wrong?

Discussion in 'National Hockey League Talk' started by Eichel 9, Feb 15, 2015.

  1. Eichel 9

    Eichel 9 Registered User

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    I remember a couple years ago wanting this guy to be the next Sabres head coach so badly, and all the Toronto fans on here being super worried that some team was going to offer him a HC job and they would lose him. I specifically remember hearing about how good he was with young players. Then he goes to Edmonton, a young team, and was absolutely hated, then fired.

    What's the general consensus on him now?
     
  2. bWo*

    bWo* Guest

    He was in over his head
     
  3. vanarchy

    vanarchy Registered User

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    He was the head coach of the Edmonton Oilers. That's what.
     
  4. Eichel 9

    Eichel 9 Registered User

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    Doomed from the beginning? I agree in that no coach would be able to turn the Oilers around in such little time.

    What did Edmonton fans hate about Eakins specifically though?
     
  5. Starbuds

    Starbuds You like muscles?

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    Guy was never right.
     
  6. Romang67

    Romang67 BitterSwede

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    He never recovered from losing Rose.
     
  7. Cassano

    Cassano nyeah eh

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    Ralph Krueger was a good coach.
     
  8. Nuge93

    Nuge93 Stuck in a "Rebuild"

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    Look at the Oilers record since firing Eakins.

    Right now it's something like 8-10-2.

    Do not quote me on this, but he had about 36 wins in 100-110 games as a the coach of the Oilers.
     
  9. jumptheshark

    jumptheshark Rebooting myself Sponsor

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    My late father would call it "new age horse ****"

    Dallas maybe good in junior with the kids

    but in the NHL the game is played on the ice. Dallas is a "fancy stat guy" and he made decisions based upon what the fancy stats told him--one problem Stats are a theory and only become fact when applied to real situations. Problem with Fancy stats in hockey is that there is too much unknown when it is what I would call traditional stats.

    According to many fancy stats--the oilers were top ten in the league--but in reality they were bottom. Nelson is a better coach and he understands the balance between theory and reality.

    Here are some stats--wins and loses in the last 17 games (jan 1 till now) oilers are three games under 500. with a 14 goal difference on the year they are -16 with a 50 goal difference.

    In the loses Ottawa was a 5 goal difference and TO was a 4 goal difference--so that is 9 goals of 14 goal difference in 2 games. In the 17 games played since Jan 1st the oilers have played in 10 one goal games.

    We can argue stats till we are blue in the face. The bottom line is that Dallas leaned too much on fancy stats and not enough on traditional stats and logic
     
  10. oil slick

    oil slick Registered User

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    Swarm defense when most of the players needed to be taught the basics.

    Extremely slow practices that had zero intensity, leading to extremely slow starts.

    Benching certain players almost immediately (I think Yak got scratched a handful of games in), while letting other young players (Eberle and Hall) constantly dog it on the ice.

    For those saying any coach would fail, that's partly true, but 0.469 winning percentage under Kreuger, 0.381 under Eakins is a substantial drop, which seems to be rebounding back with Nelson

    Also, he was kind of an arrogant ass.
     
  11. saillias

    saillias Registered User

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    He is just out of touch with the game, really. And out of touch with people, a poor manager of people.

    Being a good people person is a bigger factor to being a coach than gets credit. This doofus came in and banned pizza and ping pong and started having 7 AM whiteboard meetings to lecture his players about corsi
     
  12. deckercky

    deckercky Registered User

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    He made the Edmonton Oilers considerably worse than they were with Krueger. He took a young improving team (expect year to year improvement) and threw it's results back down to the bottom of the league.
     
  13. Oliewud

    Oliewud Registered User

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    the dude is so hollywood.

    when he freaked out about hall getting water in his hair that pretty much summed up Dallas Eakins.
     
  14. Cor

    Cor HFWF A-Lister

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    he was never good.
     
  15. ClinicallyOilered

    ClinicallyOilered 5-14-6-1

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    After watching his coaching style for 1.5 seasons, he was not a good coach. He was even worse then Pat Quinn was in his last year(he thought Hemsky was a centre, etc)
     
  16. ClinicallyOilered

    ClinicallyOilered 5-14-6-1

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    That and him t-rexxing at a referee
     
  17. saillias

    saillias Registered User

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    *on his suit jacket

    he came out to start the 3rd with a new suit jacket on

    just a neurotic, quirky kind of dude that never should have been near a position of authority for an NHL club
     
  18. Rangerfan4life90

    Rangerfan4life90 Registered User

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    That's when I knew for sure he wasn't cut out to be a coach. Who the hell gets so upset about something like that? You're an NHL head coach who's near a hockey bench. There's a good change that you'll get wet by accident.

    I was on the Eakins bandwagon that year, but boy am I glad the Rangers went with AV over Eakins.
     
  19. Old Boys Club

    Old Boys Club B.O.B.O.D.D.Y.

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    Too caught up in advanced stats and did not see or would not admit that the team was playing much, much worse than in previous years. He sucked all the passion and effort out of the team so that they were playing to look like they were trying instead of actually trying. Ruined players confidence (Yak mostly) by stapling him to the bench after he made a mistake instead of letting him make up for it and learn from it. I would describe Eakins as a dictator who wanted to revolutionize the game by his use of advanced stats. All of his tactics (swarm defence and offensive strategies) belong in the AHL. He also liked to use players out of their roles: Schultz and Ference were playing 22-24 minutes a night while a better defender like petry was only playing 16-18. He and MacT had/have a massive man crush on Brad Hunt (AHL defence man) which meant that Hunt was first D call up and when called up he would play with Schultz and play 23 minutes a night.

    Perfect example of his idiocy: He removed a ping-pong table (not sure if it was in the change room or in a lounge or something) because he said the players needed to be 100% focused. A PING PONG TABLE .
     
  20. Bieber fever

    Bieber fever Registered User

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    dude is a junior coach
     
  21. oobga

    oobga Tier 2 Fan

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    Valued generating corsi's more than generating and preventing scoring chances. He thought he was ahead of his time, but he was really just a moron. He also was way to concerned with his own image and legacy and put himself and his brilliant (acccording to him) system above the players.
     
  22. McCupofOil

    McCupofOil Still Evaluating

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    I used to think that but not so sure anymore.

    Don't get me wrong, the roster sucks, but the team is playing a lot better under the new coach and we're approaching a 20 game sample size here.

    I think it's more likely that he was an historically bad coach coaching a pretty bad roster than a pretty bad coach coaching a historically bad roster.

    He cared more about out-corsiing the opponent than winning games. He thought he was smarter than everybody but instilling that ridiculous "swarm" system. Based on their mannuerisms, the players hated playing for him, it seemed like he took all the fun out of playing the game. He cared more about running miles and miles and trying to win endurance tests than teaching simple hockey details. He took donuts and all sweets away from the media and removed a freaking ping pong table from the players locker room because he thought fun activities took away from their focus. The guy was a disaster.

    It's more than just that he coached the Edmonton Oilers and got the short end of the stick. Just an awful coach who was in way over his head.
     
  23. vanarchy

    vanarchy Registered User

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    It was a terrible coach to team match up for sure. So much so that I doubt he'll even get another chance in the big leagues.
     
  24. dahrougem2

    dahrougem2 Registered User

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    He doesn't deserve it either. I would never wish him upon any team in the league. He's an extremely stubborn person who I'm certain believes he's the smartest person in the room 100% of the time, and will go out of his way to show people how smart he is. He's awful at managing players; it's no secret Oilers players hated his guts and wanted him gone, just look at how hard they're playing for Nelson, a players' coach.

    Every sane team should stay far, far away from Dallas Eakins in the NHL
     
  25. ForeverJerseyGirl

    ForeverJerseyGirl Registered User

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    I think it’s pretty clear by now that Eakins was a monumental failure as an NHL head coach, so, in situations like that, I believe it is a combination of factors that caused him to fall flat on his face so spectacularly. Removing the factors (like a flawed roster) that Eakins couldn’t control, I’ll just discuss some I feel that he could.

    His first error was probably in how he chose to make his initial communication to his players. It’s been reported that during the summer prior to his rookie NHL coaching campaign, he sent letters out to the Oiler athletes describing how he wanted them to all be in shape for training camp. That’s going to leave a negative, demanding, and potentially hostile impression with the members of the team, because his introduction to them was all about his expectations of them and nothing about what they needed from him. To those who already come to camp in prime condition, it will be condescending—like explaining to a member of the police force the importance of not committing burglary. To those who aren’t disposed to show up fit, it’s probably not going to change their training regime and is just going to incline them to internally revolt against whatever demands he places on them, planting the seeds of discontent against the coach before they’ve even met him. Basically, Eakins created a chance of conflict with players before he met them because he chose a combative manner of introduction, and he gave some players who he might not have needed to offend (since they would have shown up to camp fit) a reason to be miffed with him. Not the best first move, in a nutshell.

    Building off the theme of Eakins’ bad first impression (which is really hard to get back), Eakins also came across as the most arrogant coach, rookie or veteran, that I’ve ever seen give an NHL interview. Before he had even coached his first NHL game, he was speaking as if he was being inducted into the Hall of Fame. I’ve read enough comments from other hockey fans to know that almost everyone shared this impression of the guy, so I bring it up because if fans react so negatively to him based on a relatively short exposure in interviews, what must it be like for the players to be around that all the time in practices, games, on the road, and in the locker room? Probably extremely grating, and that might be a charitable understatement.

    Eakins also seemed very bent on establishing himself as a control freak and dictator in the minutia of the lives of media and players alike. With the media, I think from the time he arrived in Edmonton, he was insistent that their donuts be replaced with fruit and veggie platters, which isn’t going to endear him to the local reporters, and showed that he was so obsessed with fitness that he forgot to respect some traditions already in place in the organization and people’s basic rights to make choices about what they eat. He could easily have just asked for platters of fruits and veggies to be placed out along with the donuts, thus giving people a healthy choice, and presenting himself in a positive light as the giver of something extra—but instead he chose to snatch something away in a sanctimonious fashion, which portrayed him in a negative light.

    Likewise, and more significantly, with his own players, he changed the decor of the locker room, removing a lot of the dynasty Oiler era momentos (thus showing more disregard for the franchise’s history) and putting up some weird slogans about cutting wood and carrying water. If he really wanted to give his players a chance to forge a new identity as a team, he would have let them have input into the decoration of the locker room, but instead he made all the decisions for himself—so it became his locker room, not theirs. He also took away their ping pong table. It’s a little thing, but it takes away some of their freedom and fun, and it’s a basically needless change designed to highlight his authority over their lives. It’s also a pretty foolish thing for a rookie coach to focus on when he should be concerned with honing systems.

    Perhaps because he was such a control freak, Eakins seemed to coach through fear when he bothered to coach at all. He benched Yakupov a ton, for instance, and didn’t really appear to try other ways of getting through to the young man. Techniques like that might work in the AHL, where players have to listen and obey the coach if they don’t want to end up in the hockey wilderness forever, but in the NHL, where players have already made the big leagues, they don’t necessarily have to bend over backward to do whatever coach says. Fear isn’t always the best motivator, but it looked like it was the only one that Eakins knew how to draw upon.

    I qualified the coaching through fear when he bothered to coach at all, because I noticed that behind the bench, Eakins rarely interacted physically or verbally with his players. Instead, he spent most of his time there preening for the cameras and flicking his hair back (why he didn’t get a hair cut if it was in his eyes all the time, I’ll never know), resembling a B Grade actor auditioning for a role as a coach in a Hollywood film rather than an actual NHL coach. Players who were traded from the Oilers to various other NHL teams also commented on how much faster the pace of the practices with their new teams were. This leads me to believe that Eakins ran practices that were very slow paced, perhaps loaded with him yammering on about fitness and swarm defense as he did in his press conferenes ad nauseam. No wonder players tuned him out. After five seconds of listening to most of his interviews, I did the same.

    Eakins also had a lot of bizarre theories about hockey. His swarm defense was total chaos that was completely ineffective with his team but he clung to it stubbornly even when the win-loss column should have made it apparent to even a casual fan that the method wasn’t working. I also remember reading a quote of his where he compared hockey to football, suggesting with sincerity that it was crazy players like Jonathan Toews didn’t have to memorize a playbook, which indicates to me that Eakins couldn’t spot the difference between static football and free-flow hockey. That sets of major alarms about his ability to think strategy in hockey, since he plainly overshoots what it is possible for NHL players to recognize and do in real time in hockey, which is kind of bizarre since I think he played in about 100 NHL games as a player, so you would assume he would know better, but I guess he’s just not a great learner or critical thinker. He also was a lover of stats, which in itself is fine, but he didn’t have a clue how to interpret them. I recall him bragging after the Oilers were defeated by the LA Kings that his team had outshot the Kings, but he didn’t seem to comprehend that his team had outshot the Kings since the Kings had jumped to a multi-goal lead in the first period and just turtled to victory after that. Stats are only as useful as the people collecting and interpreting them, and Eakins wasn’t very good at understanding how to look at the nuances of data to arrive at even elementary conclusions. Essentially, he was bursting with new ideas—thought he was God’s gift to coaching hockey—but really these notions were so out in left field that they weren’t even in the stadium.

    TL;DR: Eakins comes across as an arrogant control freak who coaches through fear and is filled to the ears with bizarre ideas about hockey that he chose to inflict upon players and media rather than doing his job behind the bench and in practice. He was more concerned with his image—flicking his hair and flipping out at Taylor Hall when water got on his suit—than he was in actually understanding NHL systems and statistics. He was more focused on how he sounded—making sure he spewed out some nice catch phrases—than he was with winning hockey games. He was a socially awkward self-promoter (who probably wasn’t even self-aware enough to know how terribly he presented himself to others) who stirred up needless conflicts and wasn’t prepared for the NHL gig that he landed. No wonder his players and the media didn’t like him.
     

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