Dallas Eakins Extended By Anaheim Ducks

Dallas Eakins
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The Anaheim Ducks have activated the club option on head coach Dallas Eakins on Tuesday afternoon.

Dallas Eakins Survives Another Year

Before Tuesday’s Florida Panthers match, Eakins guided the Ducks to a 29-33-12 record. While being that far below “NHL .500” normally wouldn’t merit an extension, Anaheim is going through a rebuild. Their patience with his results reflects an acceptance of that issue.

It does come as a bit of a surprise, as new general manager Pat Verbeek had an opportunity to clean house, and Eakins could easily have been a casualty. He would have joined long-time Ducks Hampus Lindholm, Rickard Rakell, and Josh Manson, moved out as part of the rebuild.

Overall, Eakins has a record of 75-96-30 since joining Anaheim. They did, however, get off to a solid start this season. Sitting at 17-10-7 by January 1st, there was some reason to believe that the team could overcome their predicted finish. Unfortunately, they came crashing back to Earth, going 12-23-5 since then.

Still, there are signs of life for the team that hasn’t made the playoffs since 2017-18 and will miss again this season. Leading scorer Troy Terry, with 32 goals and 58 points, is just 24 years old. The electrifying Trevor Zegras is just four points back and four years younger. Somewhere along the way, the Ducks and Eakins managed to give life to Sonny Milano‘s moribund career. Sophomore defenceman Jamie Drysdale is making his presence felt with 20 minutes of ice time a night.

The team still relies heavily on a fragile John Gibson, but it’s hard to blame the coach for that. Anthony Stolarz can make it an uncomfortable conversation by next year, but again that’s a problem for Verbeek to solve.

What This Means

Dallas Eakins will get the beginning of the 2022-23 season to show he can maintain a good run. If the team stumbles, well, one year isn’t hard to pay for a new coach.

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