Gerard Gallant at top of list

First issues first.

I can assure you that if John Tortorella returns to New York for a second time period as Rangers head coach, he and I’ll make sure to get the rights to our own material after which stream it on our very personal YouTube channel.

So there may be that.

But I don’t consider that there will likely be a reunion even when Tortorella has maintained heat relationships with Jim Dolan and Glen Sather within the aftermath of his dismissal following 2012-13. This will not be the correct time for a coach whose everlasting intuition is to interrupt down gamers earlier than constructing them again up in his personal picture. This will not be the time for a coach who endorses confrontation as a constructive instrument in team-building.

He has been profitable following that path in various levels in all of his stops besides Vancouver. His affect certain took maintain on Broadway. But the primary time round Tortorella had Ryan Callahan, Brandon Dubinsky, Dan Girardi, Derek Stepan, Marc Staal, Ryan McDonagh and Henrik Lundqvist to mould, a far totally different solid of characters than Alexis Lafreniere, Kaapo Kakko, Vitali Kravtsov, Adam Fox, Filip Chytil, presumably Nils Lundkvist and Igor Shesterkin.

Plus, his first time round there was a fissure with Marian Gaborik, the crew’s most gifted athlete. Talented gamers left Columbus throughout his time period that ended with this yr’s finale. It is believed {that a} vital half of the rationale David Quinn was dismissed on Wednesday by president-general supervisor Chris Drury is the disconnect that developed between the coach and his marquee expertise gamers because the season advanced.

Another time and one other place, Hartford coach Kris Knoblauch could be amongst the most serious persons of interest to fill the vacancy off of his efficiency as appearing coach for the six video games and 11-day stretch Quinn and his assistants had been quarantined beneath COVID protocols. The Blueshirts responded, appeared extra relaxed beneath the appearing coach and went 4-2 with Knoblauch behind the bench.

John Tortorella struggled as head coach of the Canucks.
John Tortorella struggled as head coach of the Canucks.
Getty Images

But this isn’t the time for a first-time NHL coach. Drury is looking for a coach with expertise and backdrop of NHL success to take the baton from Quinn and take command of this system.

Sources have indicated that Gerard Gallant, who engineered the revival of the Panthers earlier than taking the Golden Knights to the Cup ultimate within the growth crew’s inaugural season, is at the top of the list and may count on an interview with Drury forthwith.

By the way in which, although Drury will stay GM of Team USA for the upcoming World Championships, he’s not going to be readily available for the event in Latvia that runs from May 21 to June 6. Oh, and this notion that Dolan and Glen Sather are going to be behind the scenes is as ignorant because it will get.  

Gallant believes in up-tempo, puck-pursuit, puck-pressure hockey. He was profitable with a really younger group in Florida that featured 20-year-old Aleksander Barkov, 19-year-old Aaron Ekblad, 22-year-olds Jonathan Huberdeau and Vincent Trocheck as core items. They mixed with 43-year-old Jaromir Jagr and 36-year-old netminder Roberto Luongo in main the Puddy Tats to the 2016 playoffs before Gallant was kicked to the curb the next yr after a philosophical fallout with possession.

And he was profitable in Vegas with a gaggle of castoffs who had one thing to show, molding discards with chips on their shoulders right into a Stanley Cup finalist within the franchise’s first season in 2017-18 earlier than being changed two years later when Pete DeBoer got here available on the market.

I talked with a number of people within the league acquainted with Gallant. Their scouting experiences had been near similar. To wit: Gallant is a no-nonsense man who instructions respect, communicates properly along with his gamers and workers however not essentially the media and public. He is low-key and shuns the highlight, however will not be essentially recognized for bringing construction to a crew. He can coach prospects however cuts them little slack.

Gerard Gallant
Gerard Gallant
Getty Images

Perusing his resume, I discovered it fascinating that in every of his earlier three stops, the primary in Columbus starting in 2003-04, he was fired throughout the center of his third season. That doesn’t symbolize a lot of a shelf life.

Claude Julien, a Cup winner, is offered. So is Mike Babcock, a Cup winner who left Toronto under a cloud and whose repute wants rehabilitation. This might be not the most effective time or place for that. Bruce Boudreau is searching for a job.

Rick Tocchet, one other no-nonsense man who received a Cup as an influence winger for the Penguins in 1992, units a blue-collar tone and may work properly with children. There is Patrick Roy, the bigger than life four-time Cup-winning persona, who had blended outcomes behind the Colorado bench and was Drury’s teammate for 4 years. Paul Maurice is perhaps out there if dismissed in Winnipeg.

And there may be Bob Hartley, who received the 2001 Cup with Drury on the Avalanche, outcoached Scotty Bowman twice throughout the Colorado-Detroit maelstrom, and simply received the 2021 KHL Gagarin Cup with Avangard Omsk so as to add to earlier championships received the AHL and QMJHL. Hartley is believed to have a clause in his contract that will enable him to take an NHL job. His relationship with Drury is powerful.

So right here we’re. The previous is within the rear-view. The Rangers’ eyes — and Drury’s — are on the highway forward.     

Leave a Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.