Will the New York Rangers replace Gerard Gallant?
The New York Rangers had high expectations this season after an impressive run to the Eastern Conference Final in 2021-22.
Similar to how that series ended, the Blueshirts jumped out to a 2-0 series lead before being outplayed and to some, out-coached.
This time around, Gerard Gallant had a super-talented roster that included new additions in Vladimir Tarasenko and Patrick Kane. Yet, he couldn’t get this team over the hump in both the regular-season and the playoffs.
The Rangers had numerous opportunities to move up in the Metro Division and ensure an easier first-round opponent or home-ice but failed. When the Rangers were pummeled in Games 4 and 5 against the New Jersey Devils, he moved some players around but didn’t make any other adjustments leading to another similar poor effort in Game 7.
When asked about his highly-skilled lineup after being eliminated, Gallant’s response would imply that the team was poorly constructed.
“Talent doesn’t mean a thing,” Gallant shot back. “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.”
Will Rangers move on from Gerard Gallant?
Gallant, 59, just completed the second year of a four-year contract that runs through the 2024-25 season. In his first two years as Rangers head coach he’s been excellent with a record of 99-46-19 and .662 points percentage.
You would think that’s enough to have job security. However, with James Dolan as owner and fiery Chris Drury running the team, you never know.
The problem for Gallant is his now 13-14 postseason record in New York. It also doesn’t help that in the last two rounds he’s coached, the team blew a 2-0 series lead.
Another potential issue for Gallant is that there are several big-name coaches available with Stanley Cup Championships on their resume.
Peter Laviolette was just let go by the Washington Capitals and is itching to get another coaching job. He won the Cup with the Carolina Hurricanes back in 2006.
Darryl Sutter was also recently fired by the Calgary Flames with two championships to his name. Both were won with the L.A. Kings in 2012 and 2014.
Mike Babcock is fighting to get back behind an NHL bench. The 60 year-old won a Cup with the Detroit Red Wings back in 2008.
This morning, Darren Dreger is reporting that Joel Quenneville hasn’t been cleared by the NHL to return after his role in the Chicago Blackhawks scandal involving Kyle Beach. Dreger adds that it’s a strong possibility he will return. The 64 year-old won three Cups with Patrick Kane and the Hawks.
All four names mentioned above have won titles, but that doesn’t mean it will work out on Broadway. The Rangers roster was flawed this season but good enough to win. Drury should be putting his attention there and give Gallant one more season to get the job done.
That being said, if there’s one thing fans of the New York Rangers have learned over the decades is this franchise likes change. They also like to go after all the fancy new toys that are out here, whether they be players or coaches.
Editor’s note: Updated article to reflect more info from Darren Dreger’s tweet