06/27/2015 02:13 EDT | Updated 06/26/2016 05:59 EDT

Former Oilers coach Dallas Eakins to lead Ducks' new AHL affiliate in San Diego

ANAHEIM, Calif. - Former Edmonton Oilers coach Dallas Eakins was hired Friday to coach the Anaheim Ducks' relocated American Hockey League affiliate in San Diego.

The San Diego Gulls hired the former NHL defenceman for their inaugural AHL season. The Ducks moved their AHL franchise from Norfolk, Virginia, to Southern California to begin play in the fall.

"We are very excited to relocate to San Diego," Eakins said. "I have heard nothing but great things about the area. We are a family that loves to bike. We like to spend time outdoors."

The 48-year-old Eakins went 36-63-14 in nearly 1 1/2 seasons behind the Oilers' bench, getting fired on Dec. 15, 2014.

Eakins had previous AHL success as the coach of the Toronto Marlies, making the Calder Cup Final in 2012. He also served as an assistant with the NHL's Maple Leafs, but elected to return to the minors to rebuild his head coaching credentials.

"Getting back to the NHL is the last thing on my mind right now," Eakins said.

He replaces Jarrod Skalde, who spent one season coaching the Norfolk Admirals.