Darren Dreger has confirmed the hockey world’s worst kept secret of the past few days – the Edmonton Oilers will introduce former Marlies coach Dallas Eakins as their new head coach tomorrow.
Eakins was an excellent communicator and player developer and will certainly be missed (best of luck in the coaches graveyard, Dallas), but the Marlies program will move forward. Dreger has begun to speculate on a few replacement options for the Marlies:
The Marlies will be looking for a young coach who can grow with the club. Steve Spott? Ryan McGill? Glen Gulutzan?
— Darren Dreger (@DarrenDreger) June 8, 2013
The other downer news this weekend is the possible loss of Leo Komarov back to Dynamo of the KHL. Komarov was known to be weighing less money and bottom six duty in the NHL against returning to top line minutes back in Russia, so it wouldn’t be overly surprising if this plays out as rumoured. Komarov is a pending RFA with a $1.2 million cap hit, and was said to be expecting a raise if he was to stay with the Leafs. It would be a loss, for sure – Komarov was a useful bottom six pest who threw a ridiculous number of hits per game, took very few penalties given his role, and played about a minute and a half per game on the much improved penalty kill. Komarov started the season on Kadri‘s wing, and did open up some space, but never showed much in terms offensive upside before settling into a fourth line role as the season wore on. As likeable as Leo is, these type of players have their price point before a team is forced to call it for what it is – a replaceable bitpart.
Finnish journalist @emilelo reports Komarov will return to the KHL. I’m not that surprised; he’ll get more money and a bigger role.
— James Mirtle (@mirtle) June 9, 2013