The Oilers fire head coach Ralph Krueger amid speculation they’ll hire Toronto Marlies coach Dallas Eakins, the Jets need more if they’re to become a Stanley Cup contender, and today is the 20th anniversary of the Canadiens last Stanley Cup championship.
EDMONTON JOURNAL: John MacKinnon reports the Oilers fired head coach Ralph Krueger, musing about his potential replacements.
TORONTO STAR: Damien Cox believes the Maple Leafs must find a suitable replacement for the Toronto Marlies, as their coach Dallas Eakins is expected to become the new head coach of the Oilers.
VANCOUVER PROVINCE: Jason Botchford doesn’t expect the Oilers anticipated hiring of Eakins to adversely affect the Canucks search for a new head coach, as it’s believed they’re interested in LA Kings assistant coach John Stevens. If the Pittsburgh Penguins fire Dan Bylsma, he could jump to the top of their list.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: It hasn’t been formally confirmed by the Oilers and Maple Leafs, but a number of respected NHL sources believe the Eakins hiring will take place prior to the start of the Stanley Cup Final. I suspect Leafs management have anticipated Eakins potential departure for some time and should move quickly to replace him. Botchford’s been touting Stevens as the Canucks favorite for several weeks now, so those freaking out about the Canucks missing an opportunity with Eakins may be off the mark.
WINNIPEG FREE PRESS: Ed Tait believes the Jets have a lot of work to do to become a Final four team.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Rome wasn’t built in a day, and it takes time to build a contender. The Jets have some good pieces in place to build around, but obviously need more. It could take another three-four years, provided management does it right, to build this club into a contender.
MONTREAL GAZETTE: Today marks the 20th anniversary of the Montreal Canadiens winning their last Stanley Cup championship.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: It’s also the 20th anniversary of the last time a Canadian NHL team won the Cup.