Oilers Make a Change, But is it the Right Move?

Dallas Eakins has been fired by the Edmonton Oilers. GM Craig MacTavish will replace him on an interim basis. MacTavish was a big supporter of Eakins, so this must have been a hard decision. Eakins has 2 years left on his contract. Todd Nelson will join as an assistant, and Fleming will take over as the coach of OKC.

It was noted that MacTavish and Eakins would not have anticipated the holes in this lineup 18 months ago, which doesn’t make much sense to me. I know I stated they made some good moves this offseason, but it shouldn’t be surprising that there was still a lot of work to be done. The only way they could possibly compete for the playoffs is if the young, offensive talent could carry team, but obviously that’s not happening. Yakupov, who, keep in mind, said he doesn’t like playing defense and that his game is more focused on offense, has tallied only 4 goals and 8 points in 31 games. He’s not showing that offensive game. He has lived up to his “no defense” policy, though. He’s a -13, and has had around a 30% corsi percentage. Neugent-Hopkins only has 7 goals in 29 games, and Taylor Hall has 8. They need better defense, and I’m almost thinking they need to start over again. This rebuilding process isn’t going anywhere like I thought it might. Nothing has changed. I thought, while it still needed improvement in the near future, Nikitin and Fayne would help out on the back end; obviously they haven’t. They have had 3 first overall picks, neither of them carrying the team. I don’t think coaching is the problem; management is.

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