4:09: The Athletic’s Eric Stephens and Josh Cooper (subscription required) confirmed that Eakins will be the next coach and he will be formally announced as the Ducks’ 10th coach in franchise history on Monday.
1:44: The Anaheim Ducks look like they have finally made a decision on their head coaching job as Dallas Eakins looks to be the “last man standing” and, according to TSN’s Frank Seravalli the Ducks intend to formally announce him as head coach some time next week. The Orange County Register’s Elliott Teaford adds that he expects the announcement to be made Monday or Tuesday.
Eakins, who has been coaching the San Diego Gulls, the Ducks AHL affiliate, for the last four years, has always been the lead candidate for the job. However, Anaheim general manager Bob Murray chose to undergo an extensive search for their head coach. That search had already been delayed since Eakins had taken the Gulls to the AHL conference finals, before eventually being eliminated by the Chicago Wolves. However, the extended interviewing process delayed things even further. He finished with a 154-95-15 record over those four years with San Diego and worked with many of the team’s young players, making him a solid candidate to lead the team’s rebuilding project. He does have some NHL experience as the 52-year-old coached the Edmonton Oilers, but didn’t last long as he was fired after 18 months and a 36-63-14 record.
The team interviewed a number of candidates including New York Islanders Lane Lambert, Dallas Stars assistants Todd Nelson and Rick Bowness, Manitoba Moose head coach Pascal Vincent as well as University of Minnesota-Duluth coach Scott Sandelin. However, one by one, the candidates were told they were out of the running, with Eakins and Sandelin the last two coaching candidates standing. Sandelin recently signed an extention with UMD, but that wouldn’t have stopped him from taking the Ducks job.
Anaheim is coming off a disappointing season that saw them not make the playoffs, finishing 35-37-10 and forced Randy Carlyle out of a job at midseason with many pointing the team’s lack of effort throughout the year. General manager Bob Murray took over the reigns himself for the rest of the year in hopes of getting a better understanding of what the team would need this offseason.