Reports: Eakins, Keefe among those up for Coyotes head coach job
The Arizona Coyotes are entering the free agency period without a head coach after parting ways with Dave Tippett and it looks like they are addressing that problem quickly.
As Arizona Sports’ Craig Morgan notes, general manager John Chayka said the team plans on interviewing three candidates.
“Everyone has been pretty good so far about allowing us permission but at the same time if we’re taking a coach from another organization then they’ve got to replace them and you’ve got to be quick at this juncture,” Chayka said Thursday. “It’s not ideal. It’s tough to do what you’d like to do in three months in three weeks, but that’s where we’re at.”
Eakins has been a head coach once in the NHL, winning just 36 of his 113 games with the Edmonton Oilers before being fired 18 months into the job. In June of 2015, he was hired by the Anaheim Ducks to coach the San Diego Gulls, their American Hockey League (AHL) affiliate.
The Coyotes reportedly received permission to interview Nelson earlier this week.
Nelson has been an assistant and head coach in the AHL and UHL since the early 2000s. From 2008-2010, Nelson was an assistant with the then-Atlanta Thrashers. He was the interim coach in Edmonton when Eakins was fired before becoming the head coach of the Grand Rapids Griffins of the AHL, the NHL affiliate to the Detroit Red Wings.
Keefe has been a head coach in the Central Canada Hockey League (CCHL), Ontario Hockey League (OHL) and AHL. He has been the head coach of the Toronto Maple Leafs’ AHL affiliate, the Toronto Marlies, since June 2015.