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BLOG: Eakins on Belov

by Chris Wescott / Edmonton Oilers

Oilers Head Coach Dallas Eakins had a chance to address the media on Anton Belov’s arrival to the Oilers.

“I think it’s been a tough little while for the kid,” said Eakins. “He’s had immigration problems and was held up in Moscow, not skating, massive time change, nervous energy. It’s going to take a number of days to get him up to speed, I think.”

With his late arrival to camp, Belov his a little behind the curve when it comes to learning the systems and being prepared to play. The coaching staff expects to get him some time in the pre-season regardless.

“We’re going to have to. We’ve got to make a decision. I’m thinking that it won’t be the next two (pre-season games), but probably the next one after that he’s going to have to play.”

Eakins has heard nothing but good things about his newest defensive piece, but he says there may still be some adjustment to the NHL, coming from overseas in the KHL.

“Just that he was a good player in the (KHL),” Eakins said of what he’s heard about Belov. “He’s got some size, a big shot, he defends well. There was nothing on the downside. As a coach, the only thing that could be a negative for me is that in the KHL, like a lot of European leagues, they don’t forecheck hard.

“You’ve got a lot of time to go back for the puck and get set up and they send one and back up with four and so you’ve got a lot of time to do things where I know every team in the league is preaching what I am when that puck gets put in. We’re going hunting it and we’re getting the puck or we’re getting the body. That’s going to be an adjustment for him right away.”

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