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02-24-2014, 01:16 PM
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Originally Posted by yukoner88 View Post
Good goaltending always helps take the pressure off any other problems in your team. Scrivens and Bryzgalov have both made the net way more stable and its something we no longer have to worry about (this season anyway).

I've been kicking this around in my head though, in lieu of the romours that Mact was trying to get Maurice here as an associate coach, and mentor for Eakins. Say hypothetically Maurice agreed to this, wouldn't that neuter Eakins presence in the locker room? He would be labelled head coach, but Maurice is the one with the wisdom, so the players would be going to him with questions, and to get him to teach/show them certain things on the ice. This would be the situation even if the name is not Maurice. So my idea is this because with Eakin's contract, he is here for a while. In the off-season demote him to the associate coach role (and fire Buchburger!) , and hire the new person who is an NHL veteran as the true head coach, and have Eakins mentored this way for 3 seasons. By now (and by then) Eakins has gotten to know the players in the room, which keeps some continuity in the room, and he would learn more about coaching at the NHL level. I think this would be easier on the players in the room too, as this would be the proper set up for the chain of command.

Having Eakins as head coach, and the mentor the associate, when the mentor is clearly superior, is improper and stupid in my mind. Its putting the horse behind the wagon.
I don't think Eakins would make a good assistant. The leafs had him there in that role and instead of using it to groom him for an NHL head coaching position they preferred to make him head coach of the Marlies instead. He seems to be the type of personality that needs to be in charge.

As far as the situation goes that you're describing, it just doesn't happen where a head coach is demoted to assistant in the same organization. The players would lose all respect for him. The only time I can remember it happening in the NHL was when the Avalanche demoted Granato to hire Quennville after he couldn't win in the playoffs. Granato, in a season in a half, was about 30 games over .500. They thought there might be something worthwhile there with a bit of seasoning under an experienced coach so they didn't want to lose him. When Quennville left and they gave the job back to Granato the team floundered under him and they fired him after a season.

I just don't see enough to like about Eakins to think that taking this bizarre route would help him improve. If they are worried about having him under contract for four years and getting their money's worth then maybe they send him to the AHL if Nelson leaves the organization but even that doesn't make much sense because you have a potentially disgruntled employee that you've demoted handling all your prospects. This is why you fire the guy out right if you decide he isn't performing in the position you hired him for. Even though the Oilers march to the beat of their own drummer and do a lot of things most teams would never, ever consider doing, I doubt that even they would be this dysfunctional.

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