Leafs weigh options for Dallas Eakins replacement

Dallas Eakins will reportedly be leaving the Marlies to become head coach of the Edmonton Oilers....

Dallas Eakins will reportedly be leaving the Marlies to become head coach of the Edmonton Oilers. The Leafs won't have a tough time trying to find someone to replace according to one NHL exec. (DAVE ABEL/QMI Agency)

LANCE HORNBY, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 11:13 PM ET

TORONTO - Whether the search for a new Marlies coach to replace Dallas Eakins goes through Toronto will be known in a few days.

A source familiar with Eakins’ imminent hiring by the Edmonton Oilers says he’ll interview their current assistants, ex-Oilers Kelly Buchberger and Steve Smith, early this week about their positions before making any case to management to recruit one or both of his long-time Marlies staffers Gord Dineen and Derek King.

Oilers general manager Craig MacTavish is also high on bringing in an associate coach with NHL experience, which many think an NHL rookie such as Eakins needs to shepherd him through the first couple of seasons. And the Oilers remain one of the league’s most hardcore old boys club, still valuing connections to its dynasty years, such as Buchberger and Smith.


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