Former Anaheim Ducks head coach Dallas Eakins has signed a deal with Adler Mannheim of the DEL, Germany’s top league. Eakins will serve as general manager of the team and assist with coaching through the end of the 2023-24 season, before reassessing the position next off-season.
This is an interesting career move for Eakins, whose entire professional hockey career has come in North America up to this point. The 56-year-old head coach previously played 609 career AHL games, and 120 NHL games, as part of a career that spanned from his 10th-round selection in the 1985 NHL Draft to his retirement in 2004. Eakins was never particularly productive, recording 134 career AHL points and nine career NHL points. He also recorded 1051 penalty minutes in the AHL and 208 in the NHL.
Eakins took on an assistant coaching role with the Toronto Marlies for the 2005-06 season and was promoted to an assistant role with the Maple Leafs in the year after. After a couple of years behind the Leafs’ bench, Eakins went back to the AHL to serve as the Marlies’ head coach for four seasons. It wasn’t until the 2013-14 season that Eakins finally took on an NHL head coaching role, joining the Edmonton Oilers. He would lose the role to Todd Nelson partway through the proceeding 2014-15 season and returned for another four seasons in the AHL, before joining the Anaheim Ducks for the last four seasons. It’s been a back-and-forth career for Eakins. His best years came with the Toronto Marlies, who he took to the AHL’s Calder Cup Playoffs Finals in 2011-12. He hasn’t been apart of the Stanley Cup Playoffs since his playing career in 1999.
Eakins is replacing Jan-Axel Alavaara as Adler Mannheim’s general manager. Alavaara was in the role for the last five seasons, after spending a couple of years as an amateur scout with the Buffalo Sabres. Eakins also relieves head coach Johan Lundskog, who has coaching experience in the GMHL, ECHL, SHL, and National League. Lundskog was in his first year with Adler Mannheim.