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Oilers Struggles Intensify

The Edmonton Oilers made yet another mercy pull Monday. This time was different though, it wasn't one of the goaltenders that were a decided improvement on Devon Dubnyk last season, (are we so sure that was a drastic improvement now?) no it was head coach Dallas Eakins who was mercifully pulled from this season and it's losses.

While the move is first slated as being for the betterment of the team, we have to see this as for the betterment of Eakin's career. With no NHL head coaching experience aside from the Oilers, his friend Craig MacTavish recognized that this was the only way for the organization to make some changes, even though only weeks ago MacT said the coaching positions were not in jeopardy, and for Eakins to fund opportunities outside of Edmonton and perhaps work his way back up to a head coaching job.

As interim coaching staff, Todd Nelson and MacT have a lot of work to do, a lot of hard work. Stepping in beside Nelson might ease the concern that many will feel about hiring a coach with no NHL experience, but to be a successful GM and head coach will be no easy task with this roster in it's current state.

Aside from stepping in to help Nelson, this move might be MacT's way of getting a better read on his dressing room. Clearly there are issues. Clearly these players are not willing to stand up for each other night in and night out. They are not working as a team. With this move, MacT will have an opportunity to see with his own eyes just what is happening with his team and have a chance to better determine what kind of issues can be solved and mitigated and what has to be changed or traded.

Rumors are flying fast and furious that Taylor Hall is the one who needs to be moved. Thoughtful investigation though would lead many to believe that trading away the one player who puts his body on the line every night.; trading Hall would make this team softer.

While relieving Eakins from his coaching duties this week was earlier than expected, it doesn't indicate the the team is about to win a string of games, it doesn't mean the the oilers have the solution hired and ready to start tomorrow, and it doesn't mean this isn't going to be a lottery team. We can hope this means the team will do a serious series of interviews and will look for the next coach outside of the current group of friends running the show.

Filed in: Edmonton Oilers, | Oil Patch | Permalink
  Tags: craig+mactavish, dallas+eakins, taylor+hall

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About Oil Patch

Lisa McRitchie is a fairly new writer, online at least, but makes up for inexperience with passion for the game of hockey and memories of Mrs. Leskiw’s English AP class; who knew they would pay off one day.

Oil Patch focuses on the Edmonton Oilers, the Edmonton Oil Kings, The Oklahoma City Barons and Team Canada Hockey with game coverage, news updates, speculation and interviews.

Although the Oilers have had a difficult past decade… or three, here at Oil Patch, the future looks bright.

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