Rumor: The Anaheim Ducks have hired their next head coach.

Ducks have their man.

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The Anaheim Ducks appear to have found their man. 

From the very moment the Anaheim Ducks fired Randy Carlyle there were rumblings that the job all belonged to former Edmonton Oilers head coach Dallas Eakins. Eakins has been very successful as the head coach of the San Diego Gulls in the American Hockey League and when you consider that the Gulls are the AHL affiliate for the Ducks there was an obvious connection. Although it has not yet been made official, it now appears that Eakins will in fact take over as the next head coach of the Ducks.

According to a breaking news report from TSN National Hockey League insider Frank Seravalli, the candidates for the Ducks head coaching job have all been informed that they are now out of the running for said job. That is of course with one notable exception, Seravalli is also reporting that Eakins is the last man standing. Seravalli on his own would be plenty to go on given his impeccable track record, however another NHL insider chimed in to confirm his report on Sunday.

Helene Elliott of the Los Angeles Times confirmed the report from TSN today when she merely added that she expected the announcement of Eakins to occur sometime "early this week." This of course will be the first head coaching job at the National Hockey League level that Eakins will have since his time behind the bench of the Edmonton Oilers, and given what a catastrophic failure that proved to be there will no doubt be a ton of scrutiny on him this time around.

Since leaving the Oilers Eakins has spent 4 seasons behind the bench of the Gulls and has never failed to record a winning season with that team. In fact the San Diego Gulls have only reached the Calder Cup Playoffs 3 times in the history of their franchise in 2016, 2017, and 2019, all of which came with Eakins guiding the team from behind the bench.  They had their best showing this season when they made it all the way to the third round of the playoffs before eventually losing to the Chicago Wolves. 

It's hard to say exactly how much Eakins was to blame for his first failures in Edmonton, given how much that franchise has struggled, but it will be interesting to see if his time in Anaheim will serve to redeem him in the eyes of NHL fans.