Maurice rounds out crew

TERRY KOSHAN -- Toronto Sun

, Last Updated: 9:52 AM ET

When Dallas Eakins retired from playing professional hockey after the 2003-04 season, he did not envision himself as an assistant coach with the Maple Leafs just two years later.

But Eakins is a perfect example of how quickly a person can rise when he is willing to learn new things.

Eakins, along with Randy Ladouceur and the returning Keith Acton, were introduced yesterday as the Leafs' assistant coaches. Though coach Paul Maurice stressed he will infuse a team concept with his staff and there will be an overlap in roles, each will have responsibilities.

Ladouceur, a former NHL defenceman who spent eight seasons as Maurice's assistant with the Carolina Hurricanes, primarily will work with the defencemen. Acton, who survived when Pat Quinn and Rick Ley were fired in April, will get some special teams and forwards assignments.

Eakins will spend time poring over video and will spend the majority of games watching from the press box.

An assistant under Maurice with the Toronto Marlies last season, Eakins also will be heavily involved in pre-scouting.

"When I took the job last year, I had no idea how to use these updated video systems, but I took time to get a handle on it," Eakins said. "It's something that has snowballed over the years. You can draw stuff on the board, but I think it is a huge advantage for the players if they can see it in real time.

"I'm still pinching myself (that he is with the Leafs)."

Leafs general manager John Ferguson confirmed Joe Paterson will remain with the Marlies as an assistant. Until yesterday, former Los Angeles Kings coach Andy Murray was in the mix, but now is not. Another who could get a shot is Greg Gilbert, who is coaching the OHL's Mississauga IceDogs.

Ferguson may be hindered by a salary cap with players, but he has widened the scouting department and the hiring of a third assistant coach is another commitment to having all the bases covered.

"This game has gone from everybody playing the same style to a lot of different looks from different teams,"Maurice said. "Being able to make adjustments in games is going to be critical. We have a good group of individuals but more importantly a group that will work well together."


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