When The Bobfather speaks we listen. Without discussing Vegas specifically, TSN’s Bob McKenzie may have given away parts of George McPhee’s master plan. McKenzie’s sources told him the Islanders tried hiring Jack Capuano’s replacement before firing him.
The Islanders did approach the Florida Panthers for permission to talk to Gallant. If Gerard Gallant wanted to be the head coach of the New York Islanders he would have been the head coach of the New York Islanders. And that permission by the way was initially asked for while Jack Capuano was still their head coach a number of weeks ago. -McKenzie
Gallant could’ve been hesitant to take the first job offered to him. Possibly it was the current environment in New York. Or was the current opening on 3780 South Las Vegas Boulevard the reason he turned down the Islanders?
Gallant’s name has been at the head of the line when it comes to coaching rumors in Vegas for weeks. It’ll continue to heat up every day that passes over the next few months. McPhee has a mass of selling points to any head coach, most importantly stability. Gallant is 53 years-old, he’s searching for his Stanley Cup ring, and his player-friendly style could fit in Vegas.
He’s going to teach. He’s going to be communicating, have conversations with these young guys. And I think his balance, he’s just a balanced guy. He’ll motivate and will teach and will be patient and will get the best out of every player just because of his personality and how he gets along with people. -Dale Tallon, Florida Panthers President of Hockey Operations (was GM at the time of this quote)
That was quoted in 2014 and Gallant got fired by the guy who said it. It’s possible he didn’t do those things Tallon mentioned.
“I wasn’t fired because of analytics. I loved coaching the Florida Panthers and I’m a stubborn guy at times; maybe I said a little too much, maybe I gave my opinion a little bit too much. Maybe when they asked for my opinion, I have an honest opinion and sometimes it doesn’t help you. –Gallant
Gallant obviously had organizational differences but he had some success in Florida. Before being ditched on the side of the road, Gallant went 96-64 over two and a half years.
Keep your eyes and ears peeled on any news surrounding Gerard Gallant, because turning down the Isles job is likely a signal of something else. Is it Vegas? Only time well tell. I wouldn’t expect McPhee to make anything official until at least after the regular season wraps up, but Gallant could be the “leader in the clubhouse” right now, and he might know it.
There are still guys “on the course” though, so Gallant better not feel too special. I have a feeling McPhee may be the first to put a phone call into Mr. Julien whenever that shoe finally drops…which I’ve heard could be really soon.