New York Rangers looking for a new coach, part ways with Gerard Gallant
The New York Rangers and Gerard Gallant have mutually agreed to part ways per a team release on Saturday.
“I want to first thank Gerard for his work and commitment to the Rangers during his time as head coach,” President and General Manager Chris Drury said in a statement. “I have a ton of respect for Gerard as both a coach and person and truly appreciate everything he did for us on and off the ice these last two seasons.”
Gallant was the first head coach Drury hired when he took over after John Davidson and Jeff Gorton were relieved of their respective duties in May of 2021.
According to Drury, the team will begin a search for a new head coach immediately.
Gerard Gallant no longer Rangers head coach
Gallant, 59, lasted in just two of his four-year contract. Over that time, he amassed a record of 99-46-19 with a .662 points percentage. However, his 13-14 postseason record coupled with back-back-back series losses after taking a 2-0 lead factored into the equation.
“I would like to thank Mr. Dolan, Chris and the Rangers organization for giving me the opportunity to be their head coach these last two seasons,” Gallant stated in the release. “The experience of coaching an Original Six franchise with such rich history and an incredibly passionate fanbase is something I will never forget. After conversations with my family and Chris, it became clear that this was the right decision for both myself and the Rangers at this time.”
The move should not come as a shock considering speculation that arose during the team’s first-round debacle against the New Jersey Devils. It also wasn’t the first time his job was considered in jeopardy as the team struggled out of the gate but turned it around in December.
In a recent 32 Thoughts Podcast, Elliotte Friedman revealed that Drury and Gallant got into a shouting match after Game 4.
“After one of the games in the series there was a huge argument behind closed doors and everybody could hear it,” Friedman noted. “The coaches and management were frustrated with the way it was going and everyone could hear that tempers boiled over.”
Gallant likely sealed his fate when he criticized how the roster was constructed after they embarrassed themselves in Game 7. The Rangers traded away a Gallant favorite in Ryan Reaves for cap space, then added an injured Patrick Kane and Vladimir Tarasenko to an already packed offensive lineup.
“Talent doesn’t mean a thing,” Gallant stated. “It’s great to have talent but you’ve got to play and work hard together– I love to have talent but you’d like to have a work ethic, forechecking, and stuff like that. We just didn’t get it done.”
As for who will replace Gallant, the name that most insiders mention is Joel Quenneville.
Darren Dreger reported that Quenneville hasn’t been cleared by the NHL to return after his role in the Chicago Blackhawks scandal involving Kyle Beach. Dreger added that it’s a strong possibility he will return after a hearing with the NHL. The 64 year-old won three Cups with Hawks.
Other potential candidates include Peter Laviolette, Darryl Sutter, Andrew Brunette, Todd Reirden, and Mike Babcock.
Update: “Just looking for the right fit. Not going to limit ourselves right now to any specific style or type of coach. Want to be as thorough as we can be. Don’t have a set date in mind as of yet; just want to get the right person, whenever that is.” – Chris Drury