I don't know a lot about coaching at the NHL level. I don't know about who runs what system, I don't know who should be hired, and I certainly don't know about coaches in the AHL. There's really only two systems I use for evaluating potential coaching hires with no NHL history: one, is how have his teams done? two, is how many teams are interested in hiring this coach? For example, I don't know what Patrick Roy will bring to the Avs, but if the Avs were the only one interested in hiring him, is he that hot a commodity?
But this isn't about Colorado's recent hire. It's about Toronto's long time bench boss, both as an assistant at the NHL level and as head coach of the Marlies, Dallas Eakins. As for my first criteria, I think many Leafs fans know Eakins and the Marlies went to the Calder Cup finals last year - on the back of goaltending, maybe, but it's tough to tell given the stats provided by the AHL. As for criteria number two?
Leafs grant Dallas Stars permission to speak with Marlies coach, Dallas Eakins about coaching job. Van,Edmtn,NYR, Dal interested in Eakins.— Darren Dreger (@DarrenDreger) June 1, 2013
That's four teams so far. Two who consider themselves playoff contenders, two who consider them bubble teams. Yes, it's just "permission to speak with," and yes, these teams should be kicking the tires on every available coach as part of their due diligence, but I'd like to think it's indicative that some people (who may or may not be good at determining this sort of thing) have interest in bringing Eakins to the NHL level. Toronto is not one of those teams. Why, you ask? Because we've got Randy Carlyle.
Every team with vacancy interested in Eakins but Leafs stick with the guy who thought Bozak > Grabbo, Holzer > Gardiner, McLaren > MacArthur— 67Sound (@67sound) June 1, 2013
It's a shame 67sound ran out of characters. Carlyle is also the coach that thought Colton Orr was a third liner, who thinks that helmets contributed to concussions, whose best roster was forced by injuries, and whose team-level statistics only got worse as the season went on.
At the very worst, changing from Carlyle to Eakins would mean we go from one coach who has been propelled by goaltending to another. At the best? We get someone with a reasonable thought process that doesn't involve pairing All-Stars with AHLers.
If Nonis were to come out and say they were ending their relationship with Carlyle on the basis of internal statistics and performance, the fanbase would understand. It would be unprecedented, it would harm the "Old Boys' Club," and it would shock those who bend over backwards to make Carlyle palatable, but unless Eakins decides to turn down an NHL offer (at least we're told his money is good right now), there's a decent chance we're about to watch the Leafs' franchise get worse.
I'm on vacation in Key West, so dump fun links in the comments.