On Sunday afternoon an odd NHL firing became Las Vegas news. So why was the firing of Florida Panthers Coach Gerard Gallant newsworthy to Vegas Golden Knights fans? Because a comment from The Creator last week could mean Mr. Gallant will be soon be turning into Sir Gallant.
George is looking for a particular type of of coach. He’s not looking for a first-termer. He’s looking for a guy who’s learned a lot and has coached a couple of other teams. I would say the coach that will name is going to be a recognizable individual but he has to fit George’s culture. –The Creator
So after the first NHL coach firing of the season and the big man’s comments let’s take a look at potential head coaches for VGK (or VGS or VEG or whatever they go with).
“Sir” Gerard Gallant: Head Coach/Florida ’14-’16, Head Coach/Columbus ’04-’06, Player/Detroit & Tampa ’84-’95
As I mentioned in the first paragraph, Gallant’s firing became a big topic of discussion for Vegas fans over the past two days. For a few reasons Gallant fits the bill, but his curb drop firing has me a little concerned. To start, Gallant has had some success as a head coach. Last season, the Panthers surprised the league with 103 points. However, it was Gallant’s only playoff season. Mostly what concerns me is his Florida dismissal and how it went down. Reports are Panthers execs fired Gallant after Sunday’s game in Raleigh, and told him to find his own ride home. Photos have surfaced showing the axed coach hauling his luggage into a minivan cab. Now we’re hearing a major disagreement in philosophy between Gallant and the Panthers front office. We know about Florida’s new-found dedication to analytics and Gallant was more traditional. Even with the Panthers successful ’15-’16 campaign, Gallant was doomed. Florida has their strategic plan, and they’re sticking to it. Gallant obviously didn’t buy into the method and after 22 games, the Panthers had seen enough. It’s concerning if Gallant was released from because of style differences. He does have a connection to the Vegas organization with Scott Luce and Erin Ginnel on staff, but personally, I would move on to other candidates that could be available next June.
Jack Capuano: Head Coach/NY Islanders ’10-Present, Player/Toronto, Vancouver & Boston ’88-’92