The Anaheim Ducks named Dallas Eakins of Dade City, FL as their new head coach on Monday. The Ducks become the second National Hockey League franchise Eakins has been the bench boss for. He previously coached the Edmonton Oilers from 2013 to 2015.
Eakins has spent the last four seasons as the head coach of the San Diego Gulls of the American Hockey League, the Ducks top minor league affiliate. In three of the four seasons, Eakins guided the Gulls to at least the second round of the Calder Cup playoffs.
In 2018-19, the Gulls reached the Western Conference Finals of the AHL playoffs. In the first two rounds the Gulls beat the higher ranked San Jose Barracuda and Bakersfield Condors, before losing in six games to the Chicago Wolves.
The timing of Eakins’s hiring might be a surprise to some. On February 10, the Ducks made a coaching change when general manager Bob Murray fired Randy Carlyle as their head coach and named himself the coach for the remainder of the season. At that time many speculated Eakins would get the job. However, Murray decided not interrupt the Gulls season. In 26 games with Murray as the head coach, the Ducks went 14-11-1.
Eakins has also spent two seasons as the assistant coach of the Toronto Maple Leafs from 2006-08 and five seasons with the Toronto Marlies of the AHL. He was the Marlies assistant coach from 2005-06 and head coach of the Marlies from 2009-2013. In 2012, Eakins took the Marlies to the Calder Cup Finals before losing in six games to the Norfolk Admirals.
Throughout the hockey world, Eakins has been known as a disciplinarian and fitness freak. So much so that during his days in Edmonton, he would not allow donuts in the media room. Terry Jones of the Edmonton Sun warned the Ducks media with a tweet on Monday. “BYOD – Bring Your Own Donuts – Dallas Eakins press conference as new coach of Anaheim Ducks set for Monday.”
In addition to coaching, Eakins played 120 games in the NHL with the Winnipeg Jets, Florida Panthers, St. Louis Blues, Phoenix Coyotes, New York Rangers, Toronto Maple Leafs, New York Islanders and Calgary Flames from 1992-2002. As a defenseman, he had nine assists.