ANAHEIM, Calif. — Dallas Eakins was named the Anaheim Ducks’ coach on Monday, moving up from their AHL affiliate in San Diego for his second chance behind an NHL bench.

The Ducks filled the NHL’s last head coaching vacancy with the veteran coach who spent the past four seasons with the Gulls, leading them to the AHL’s Western Conference Finals this season. The 52-year-old former NHL defenseman has worked extensively with the homegrown talent that currently fills much of the Ducks’ roster.

Eakins replaces Ducks general manager Bob Murray, who stepped behind the bench for the final 26 games of the season after firing Randy Carlyle. Anaheim went 14-11-1 under Murray, but the Ducks couldn’t overcome a midseason slump and missed the playoffs for the first time since 2012.

After 73 days without a head coach in place, Murray found his next coach exactly where most observers thought he would. Murray, who has made only three permanent coaching changes in 11 years running the Ducks, took 46 days to replace Bruce Boudreau with Carlyle in 2016.

Eakins coached the Edmonton Oilers from the start of the 2013-14 season until December 2014, going 36-63-14.

SHARKS: San Jose took a risk when it traded for elite defenseman Erik Karlsson knowing he had only one year left on his contract. They sat patiently as he learned about the organization and area during an injury-plagued season and were rewarded when Karlsson decided not to hit the open market.

The Sharks then pounced and signed Karlsson to a $92 million, eight-year deal on Monday, turning a one-year rental into a long-term commitment to one of the league’s most dynamic defensemen.

“This was a big decision for me,” Karlsson said. “Ultimately at the end of the day, I know it’s the right one for me, my family and this organization as well. I’m very happy with how everything happened and that they didn’t force me into making a decision earlier than this.”

A person with knowledge of the deal said it carries an annual cap hit of $11.5 million and includes a full no-movement clause. The person spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because the team did not announce terms of the contract.

The Sharks acquired the two-time Norris Trophy winner just before the start of last season from Ottawa. Karlsson was hampered by groin injuries for much of his first season in San Jose but also showed flashes as he helped the Sharks reach the Western Conference final for the fifth time in the past 15 seasons, where they lost to eventual champion St. Louis in six games.

TRADE: The New York Rangers have acquired defenseman Jacob Trouba from the Winnipeg Jets for defenseman Neal Pionk and the 20th overall pick in the draft.

Trouba is a restricted free agent who needs a new contract.

Trouba, 25, gives the rebuilding Rangers a legitimate top-pairing defenseman to speed their move toward being playoff contenders again. The right-handed-shooting blue liner had eight goals and 42 assists for 50 points last season.

Winnipeg is facing a salary-cap crunch and would have had trouble fitting in Trouba. Pionk, 23, is also a restricted free agent but will cost less than the more-established Trouba.

Pionk had six goals and 20 assists last season with New York in his second NHL season.

 


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