Remember Kavis Reed.?
I met him several times through a mutual friend who had played with the Edmonton Eskimos.
My enduring impression was that he was incredibly arrogant and I was somewhat shocked when he was anointed the head coach of the Edmonton Eskimos.
His CV was sketchy and it seemed to me his ascendence was likely tied more to his “forceful” personality than to his actual accomplishments as a player or coach.
Without belabouring things all too familiar to Eskimo fans, my skepticism was more than warranted. Kavis Reed was a walking disaster.
Just a little while later, newly minted Edmonton Oiler GM Craig MacTavish hired Dallas Eakins another coach with a sketchy CV…a man who has won nothing as a coach and was a fringe NHL player.
Eakins vaulted on the Edmonton Oiler stage with all the grace of a wounded water buffalo…telling the media what they should eat and purging the Oilers dressing room history so he could imprint the Dallas Eakins Era® on the organization.
Then he proceeded to fall flat on his face in pretty much the same fashion that Kavis Reed did when assuming the reins of the Edmonton Eskimos.
Under his tutelage, the Oilers, despite having their young guns with an extra year of experience and the addition of at least a couple of veteran NHL players, dropped from 74 points (pre-lockout) to 67 points.
Their goal differential dropped from -27 to -67.
Like Kavis Reed, Dallas Eakins was convinced he had a better way of doing things.
After abandoning his ill-advised Swarm Defense, he immediately set about grinding Nail Yakupov to a nub.
While I’m not particularly a Yakupov fan, publicly humiliating a passionate young man like Nail who wants nothing more than to win, would make Jimmy Hoffa seem like a benevolent leader of men.
MacT, who has tremendous personal investment in the hiring of Eakins, better hope the supreme confidence he placed in the hire at the end of the first abominable season results in the Oilers taking a big leap forward in 2014/15.
If they don’t, MacT is going to have to wear it.
Kavis Reed had 3 seasons with the Eskimos. His record as head coach was 11-7, 7-11 and 4-14.
I would think the Oilers need an additional 10 wins this upcoming season for Eakins to be considered to be trending the right direction.
While that would leave the Oilers with a paltry 87 points and likely 11th in the WC, anything less is an indictment of both the Head Coach and the General Manager.