The Edmonton Oilers formally introduced Dallas Eakins as their head coach during a press conference on Monday afternoon.
General manager Craig MacTavish stated that Eakins made an impression on him that made it apparent that he was capable of coaching at the NHL level. Eakins has agreed to a four-year contract, according to Darren Dreger of TSN.
Eakins is now responsible for shaping one of the NHL's youngest collection of talent. Facing an extended run of losing seasons, the Oilers have compiled a wealth of young talent by way of favorable selections in the NHL Draft (including three consecutive No. 1 overall selections, in addition the the No. 7 overall pick in this year's draft). It is now up to Eakins to mold the team into the contending franchise that many expect them to be.
Eakins had been the head coach of the Toronto Marlies since 2009. In recent years, he has garnered attention as a legitimate candidate for NHL openings. With the Dallas Stars, New York Rangers and Vancouver Canucks having vacancies, Eakins was believed to be in demand.
With this in mind, MacTavish decided to fire head coach Ralph Krueger in order to open up the position for Eakins. As of Monday, Eakins stated there had been limited discussion about what changes might come to his assistant coaching staff.