Dallas Eakins was fired Monday as coach of the Edmonton Oilers, who have lost 15 of 16 games and are well on the way to missing the playoffs for the ninth consecutive season.
General manager Craig MacTavish will coach the team for the rest of the year, according to reports. MacTavish is scheduled to speak with the media Monday.
Edmonton has 19 points through 31 games, last in the Western Conference. The Oilers went 36-63-14 under Eakins in parts of two seasons, including 7-19-5 this year.
Hired in the summer of 2012 to help the Oilers be "in the mix every year to win," Eakins missed the playoffs in his only full season behind the bench. This was his first job as an NHL head coach.
"We fully understand critics and we fully understand and I embrace the result," Eakins said after a victory last month over the rebuilding Buffalo Sabres. "You can stand and talk about how well you're playing and how you've improved, but if you're not getting points, no one's going to listen ...
"(Players) understand what process we're going through, they understand where we're at and where we're going and that's our main concern right now."
It was on Eakins to get through to the Oilers, and they didn't seem to make any significant strides under their fifth coach in seven seasons. Pat Quinn (2009-10), Tom Renney (2010-12) and Ralph Krueger (2013) also failed to get the team to the playoffs.
Edmonton has not made the postseason since 2006. The Oilers finished with the third fewest points in the NHL in 2013-14 with a record of 29-44-9 in the one full season under Eakins.
Considered a hot coaching candidate while with the AHL's Toronto Marlies, Eakins got the job with the Oilers in large part because MacTavish believed he could relate to young players.
With an average age of under 27, the Oilers' roster includes three No. 1 overall picks: Taylor Hall in 2010, Ryan Nugent-Hopkins in 2011 and Nail Yakupov in 2012.
Before coaching the Marlies, he was an assistant for two years with the Maple Leafs.