Sportress of Blogitude

Oilers coach: Kid yelled ‘You suck!’ at him while taking daughter to school (vid)


Things have not started off well for first-year Edmonton Oilers coach Dallas Eakins. Actually, to say things haven’t started off well would be an understatement. The fact that he is being heckled by elementary-age kids as he escorts his 5-year-old daughter to school is a pretty clear indication at just how fast things have soured for the rookie coach.

With the Oilers already languishing in the cellar of the Pacific Division with a more-than-underwhelming 3-9-2 record — a measly eight points in fourteen games — Eakins is feeling the seat under him getting hotter even before he had a time to warm it up himself.

To add insult to injury — putting it mildly — having kids give him the business has got to sting.

The effectiveness of the power play and penalty kill units for the Oilers has taken a nose dive since last season and the team has given up more five-on-five goals than any other team in the NHL. Not a recipe for success.

But you have to feel for the guy. He’s barely had time to install his system and the boo birds, hecklers and other naysayers are coming out of the woodwork (via the Edmonton Sun)

“I’ve just come from Toronto. I’ve seen this before,” said the Maple Leafs assistant for two seasons who went on to coach the Toronto AHL farm club for four years.

“I’ve seen every little bit of this. I’ve seen it for way longer than however many games its been since I’ve been here. I’ve taken good notes, believe me.

“I understand the guy who yells out of his car at me when I’m at the gas station and he speeds away. And I understand people as they walk into a restaurant murmuring something under their breath. I’m OK with it. That’s the passion.

“When we do turn this thing around and when we are a winning, strong team every night, the passion is going to turn the other way and it’s going to be all smiles and giggles in here and the guy at the gas station is probably buy me my gas and the people in the restaurant are probably going to buy me dinner. If I’m going to be OK with that part of it, I better be OK with this.”

Here’s Eakins cutting open a vein with reporters about the ugly incidents that have occurred while taking his daughter to school:

I feel it. I understand it,” said the new head coach of the Edmonton Oilers when your correspondent asked what it’s like to be in this sort of jackpot to begin a NHL head coaching career.

“I have kids bugging my daughter at school. That’s not very much fun.

“I’m walking my daughter to school yesterday and I have one kid yelling at everybody ‘There’s the head coach of the Edmonton Oilers!’ And my five-year-old daughter gets real excited because, ‘That’s my daddy.’

“And then I have another kid yelling, ‘You suck!’”

“So, yes, that’s happening. But it’s going to go the other way, too. I’m OK with the fire right now. I’m not OK with our record. But I’m OK with the passion of our fans in the fire.”

Ouch. What a horrible experience for a father. There is no stronger instinct in a parent than to protect their child, and for Eakins to have to stand there and hope that his daughter isn’t effected by the criticism? It’s heartbreaking.