The dismissal of Gerard Gallant and hiring of Pete DeBoer came as a shock to the hockey world as a whole. Here is how some of the most powerful voices in the game reacted.
He’s known as a good coach, a coach that’s beloved by his players. The players work hard for him. He holds them accountable but does it in a way that is respectful and not demeaning. By all accounts, he’s one of the best coaches out there… By anyone’s standards would be an incredible two plus years with an expansion team. How do you explain dismissing Gerard Gallant?… It seems knee-jerky too me. I just don’t like this. I don’t understand it, and I don’t I really like it. -David Amber, Sportsnet
There are other elements to this. You have a 75-year-old owner in Bill Foley who wants to win now. I’m telling you do not underestimate that factor in all of this. I think there was a lot of pressure from above here. I think there was frustration. I don’t think Bill Foley thinks about what the team is going to look like five years from now. I think he worries about what the team is going to look like right now. -Pierre LeBrun, TSN
They felt that their team was massively underperforming. They feel that with Pete DeBoer there available, a different hand can help fix some of the wounds there. They’re sloppy in their zone, they’ve been an inconsistent team. I was just surprised that a really good coach was let go given the position they are in. I don’t know that they would’ve made this move if Pete DeBoer wasn’t sitting there. -Ray Ferraro, TSN
George McPhee ran the Washington Capitals since 1999 and a lot of games were played against the Florida Panthers when Pete DeBoer was coaching there, and a lot of games were played against the New Jersey Devils when Pete DeBoer coached there. So there’s a huge reference point for George McPhee. -Pierre McGuire, TSN
There is probably a dark poem to be written about the impact that phantom major penalty call that in Game 7 last spring had on both Gallant and DeBoer. With the chirping going back-and-forth that series, Gallant called DeBoer a clown. Now their legacies are linked. -Frank Seravalli, TSN