Anaheim Ducks: Staying the Current Course Could be the Best Option

Head coach Dallas Eakins of the Anaheim Ducks (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)
Head coach Dallas Eakins of the Anaheim Ducks (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images) /
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Anaheim Ducks
Head coach Dallas Eakins of the Anaheim Ducks (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images) /

There has been a lot of talk in recent times regarding the firing and replacing of much of the Anaheim Ducks management team. Head Coach Dallas Eakins has been vilified to no end. General Manager Bob Murray has also not been exempt. I personally wrote a piece just recently discussing possible coaching candidates should Coach Eakins be let go. In many ways, this is standard fan behavior and in many ways, standard human behavior. We all want to blame someone. We all want to think that someone new will do better.

Even the Ducks’ prospects are no different. We live in a disposable society in which we can easily find a short to pleasure high. Like an addict who “can quit any time they like, they just don’t want to,” sports fans tend to jump on the highs of the newest hotness in town.

We’ll overlook that we’d be better off if we just left them well alone, in favor of the euphoric high we get watching them do more or less what the veterans do but with fewer wrinkles on their faces and a more majestic head of hair.

However, all of that angst we feel rushing to kick out the old in order to rush into the newest high may not be in our best interests. Pulling back to the addict analogy, how many users do you imagine recognize their inhibitions leaving them? How many people do they cut out of their lives with their me first, me now, attitudes? You’re probably wondering what that has to do with hockey?

I present to you, your honor, exhibit A: The Buffalo Sabres.

Taking Notes from the Buffalo Sabres

Consider that their best young talent, Jack Eichel, is into his 6th season of NHL hockey. In those six years, he’s had, three coaches and three general managers. There are pretty good odds on him seeing at least one more coach in the relatively near future. Hot young prospect, Rasmus Dahlin, is on his second coach and second general manager in (checks notes) his second NHL season.

There’s no denying it. The Buffalo Sabres are the crazy addict who sometimes sleeps in your garage on cold winter nights. What’s astounding is that they are the poster children for how not to build a team through the draft. Young players need clear and defined direction in order to thrive. How can they possibly develop to their absolute best selves when the message is constantly changing?

Furthermore, are the Sabres even rebuilding anymore? They’re clearly terrible, yet went out and bought some big-name players this season in Taylor Hall, and to a lesser extent, Eric Staal. They already have current and future franchise crippling contract of Jeff Skinner on their books, alongside Kyle Okposo. This was a team that bought in hard on a quick hit and is paying the price and will pay the price, for years to come. Are they rebuilding or are they contending? Do they know?