Among those who spoke to the media today (MacT will probably have an avail tomorrow or Tuesday) was Todd Nelson, who said all the right things and clearly wants the head coaching job in Edmonton. I hope he gets it (have explained why) but doubt it comes quickly, if at all. This sounds like an active summer among NHL coaches and the Oilers are in no hurry now to make any decisions about the position.
"I thought he did great… He really changed the way we approached the game from the beginning of season to now." – Pouliot on Todd Nelson
— Chris Wescott (@TheChrisWescott) April 12, 2015
I wanted to talk about this a little bit, because there are emails and dm’s coming my way with two different takes and I’d like to add mine. This issue first came up when Jordan Eberle talked about how much he’d improved under Todd Nelson and Pouliot’s item above marches in lock step. I’m getting two wildly different takes about this, and they sound like this:
- “Eakins ruined everything and this is proof!”
- “Don’t be a Nelson apologist, nothing’s changed!”
I am very hopeful that one day we can discuss Dallas Eakins without being accused of committing treason or having people threaten Hara-Kiri, but I know we’re not close to that day at this time. I would like to step back from the violent verbal and the pointing finger of Al Gore to suggest there’s a way we can proceed without making this ‘he said he said’ or being called asshat all the live long day.
- It’s the GM dummy
- It’s the goalie stupid
- It’s the ‘mannish-boy’ defense idiote!
Dallas Eakins was a qualified coach in waiting for an NHL job when he got one. I absolutely believe he was told that there would be a certain period of time where tailoring the team had more importance than wins and I do believe he was fired in that window.
The war is over.
Todd Nelson is a qualified coach in waiting for an NHL job and he may or may not get one. When someone says ‘hey, Nelson’s PP looks good’ it doesn’t mean ‘Dallas Eakins has cooties’ and if I say ‘the Todd Nelson Oilers are not in any way a good possession team’ it does not mean ‘I’m hoping to get into a long conversation about how stupid I am, so please email me soon!’
- On the day he was fired, Dallas Eakins’ Edmonton Oilers had a 5×5 Corsi for % of 50.9.
- Todd Nelson’s Oilers were 17-23-7 with him solo and his team had a 5×5 Corsi for % of 46.8.
Those are the facts as I understand them. I think Jordan Eberle probably forgot he couldn’t lift the puck before New Year’s and Benoit Pouliot felt (as we all do) fresh air and a change during a trying season was welcome.
We don’t know, folks. We don’t know how Dallas Eakins was received by his players, we don’t know if Todd Nelson is Jesus in an (ever improving) suit. We do have facts before us. Let’s argue them.