In Calgary the flood wiped out the memorabilia on the walls in the Flames dressing room. In Edmonton Dallas Eakins did it on his own. The Oilers dressing room is no longer a museum of the glory days of Stanley Cup champions and banner-raising teams. Gone are the pictures and plaques of the Cup winning teams the names of all the players of all time and much more. One of the first things Eakins did after he was hired it seems was call Ghostbusters. The new head coach has put the run on ghosts of Gretzky and the gang. “Listen when we walk in that door there’s five Stanley Cups standing there” he said of the featured showcase down the hall from the great signature Oiler-logo door both of which remain. “That’s a great piece of history. That’s the only thing that counts” he continued. “We have moved some pictures and some plaques and some things and we’re going to put them out for our fans to enjoy but it’s important for these players that this is THEIR dressing room. “Believe me there is no disrespect. And this man would understand – this is not Mark Messier’s dressing room! “We will definitely attempt to emulate the play of those great teams the success of the Gretzkys Messiers Kurris and all of them. But I want these guys to be comfortable in THEIR room.” Remember that Eakins bosses Kevin Lowe and Craig MacTavish and all three of his assistant coaches Keith Acton Kelly Buchberger and Steve Smith all own Oiler Stanley Cup rings and owner Daryl Katz is very much emotionally tied to that team. So maybe it takes some guts too. Could this be like having a new first lady move into the White House and taking her turn trying make it hers? “I think when a coach takes over he needs to change things in the room just for the sake of changing ‘em sometimes” said Eakins.
Dallas Eakins ghostbusting Edmonton Oilers locker room
Edmonton Sun | Sep 16