The coaches have come and gone in the career of Mike Mottau, but there is one, most likely his final one, who sticks out.

That would be Dallas Eakins, who was behind the bench this season for the AHL’s Toronto Marlies while Mottau played, and who is now embroiled in the Rangers’ search for someone to succeed John Tortorella. The 35-year-old Mottau played defense for all three New York-area NHL teams, and there in the minors in hockey-crazed Toronto is where he found a coach of the highest caliber.

“I played for a number of coaches over the years and I can say Dallas is one of the best,” Mottau told The Post yesterday while at home in suburban Boston, his native city from where he will solicit offers to continue his career but will probably end up making a decision that is best for his family.

“He was able to look at certain guys and let them play to their strengths and work on their weaknesses,” Mottau said. “Other coaches promote themselves and their system, but he was looking at the betterment of the group. He was just a breath of fresh air for me.”

Eakins might be a relatively unknown name to many outside of the league, but inside most front offices the 46-year-old is regarded as one of the up-and-coming stars of the coaching ranks.

The man from Dade City, Fla., was selected in the 10th round of the 1985 draft, and played a total of 120 games as a defenseman, including three for the Rangers (1996-97) and two for the Islanders (1999-2000).In 2001, he married a former Miss Teen Canada and current B-level actress, Ingrid Kavelaars

After the 2004-05 lockout, he retired and took over as an assistant coach with the Marlies, which was followed by a two-year stint as a Maple Leafs’ assistant. In August of 2009, he took over as head coach of the Marlies, and has been making waves since.

“He understands the pressure of the game, that sometimes [on the ice] you just don’t see things,” Mottau said. “For him to stay connected to that feeling — that every play is not going to be perfect, not every player is going to play great every game — he has a good sense of the reality of the game.

“As a player you just focus on one thing, that’s you, and trying to win the game. For him, he takes in every person and every ego and every player and still keeps an even keel as a coach. That was one of his biggest strengths.”