In an article in the National Post, writer Michael Traikos spoke with several Toronto Maple Leafs players who had been impacted by the Edmonton Oilers rookie head coach. Traikos says in all, 12 current Leafs players were coached and influenced by Dallas Eakins with the Marlies in the AHL.
"He really cared about the guys,” said defenceman Carl Gunnarsson. “I remember when [was] I called up, I got called into his office and he said, ‘Gunnar, get out of here. I don’t want to see you again.’ It’s funny, but that was his job to get guys out of the AHL.”
Nazem Kadri added:
“He was pretty instrumental in my development and my career. Obviously, I’m thankful for that. I just wish him the best of luck. Just not tonight."
It bodes well for the Oilers organization that their new bench boss leaves such an impact on the careers of young players. Especially considering the young talent on the Oilers roster in need of a little push.
Here is Nazem Kadri pre-game in Toronto: