7:33PM: On TSN Radio this afternoon, Darren Dreger noted that there is a lot of buzz and interest around Eakins and that he interviewed very well with the Canucks.
6:34PM: When Dallas Eakins was hired to be head coach of the Toronto Marlies in 2009, he said that he learned as a player what the ins and outs of the NHL and AHL are, what players go through on a day to day basis and how they can improve.
When asked about Eakins, Billy Jaffe said on Hockey Night live, "he is a Roger Neilson disciple. He is very meticulous, bright, intense and detail oriented. He is new-agey but also a little old school. He is the hottest coach coming from the minors."
Eakins first met Neilson at 13 when he attended his hockey camp and then became a counselor. He said that Neilson taught him about the work that goes into being a head coach, "This isn’t a job. It’s a way of life. I saw how hard that man worked at his passions and I appreciated it. I saw how much he cared about his players. He was a great teacher. He was patient. I hope that I can be half the coach he was.”
After Eakins was passed over for the Maple Leafs head job, Joe Colborne told the Toronto Star that what makes Eakins a good coach is that he has a great relationship with his players. Colborne said that when you play for Eakins you want to run through a wall for him, that he commands a high level of respects and no one wants to let him down.
Nazem Kadri, who said his career had been a bit of a roller coaster ride, said that Eakins was excellent at comforting him, settling him down and not going the other way and deterring his development.
Other Marlie players have said that Eakins is a great players coach who involves his players, wants their opinion, is a great teacher and is able to motivate them to get them to play their best.
Maple Leafs executive Dave Poulin told the National Post that Eakins is always calm when dealing with adversity, the Marlies lost 11 players to the Maple Leafs this past season, and truly cares about the careers of his players.
Adam Rotter: Of all the candidates, Eakins is the most intriguing to me. He is the one that we know the least about, but everything you hear about him is glowing. He has connections with the Canucks, he played with Ryan Kesler, Kevin Bieksa and Alex Burrows when they were young, but he also played part of one season and playoffs with the Rangers in 1997. He doesn't have the "oomph" as Dave Maloney said, as any of the other candidates, but he may be exactly what the Rangers need.