“There could be only one!”
I know, I know...I used an infamous line from Highlander, but hey, at least there wasn’t the phenomenon of the Quickening proceeding by the lopping off of head coaching candidates heads!
Earlier today, the inevitable became official as Ducks General Manager Bob Murray publicly announced to the world that Dallas Eakins would be the team’s 10th bench boss. This is something that many of us guessed for quite sometime would happen, despite Murray interviewing other candidates for the job - which I knew he would have to do just as a formality. Also, this may very well be the last coaching hire for the GM.
In four seasons as the head coach for the San Diego Gulls, the team has reached the postseason three times, advancing to at least the second round once and reaching the Western Conference Finals just this past season, posting an overall record of 154-95-15-8. During today’s press conference at the new Great Park Ice & FivePoint Arena in Irvine, GMBM noted how strong Eakins has been with player development not only in San Diego but throughout his tenure with other AHL organizations, as well as his hard work in returning back to the NHL as a head coach.
“You’ve earned it,” Bob Murray concluded in welcoming Eakins into HC position in Anaheim.
In his statement to the press, Eakins let it be known that he’s no stranger to the club, “I’m familiar with a lot of the players. I’m familiar with a lot of the staff. So, we’re not starting from scratch today. We are starting with experience, and that is greatly encouraging to me.”
Even though these words are promising, he made it very clear that it’s not going to be an easy task, saying “there’s a lot of hard work that’s gonna be done and I look forward to embracing the work [...] and I hope that we can continue the great success of this organization both on and off the ice.”
Out of those familiar faces who Eakins will be coaching, Hampus Lindholm was in attendance at today’s announcement and also took questions from the press following the announcement. The mobile defenseman commented, “I’m excited. We’ve had the old-school coaches in here, and he brings in the new style. He interacts with the players a bit more. We’ve heard a lot of good things from the young players coming up.”
In today’s official announcement, the first piece towards next season has been placed. Next will be the draft, and as we go into the summer we’ll see how the team will begin to take shape. I don’t know about you, but I sure am excited.