Rangers hiring Gerard Gallant as head coach: report

Gerard Gallant Rangers
The Rangers are hiring Gerard Gallant as head coach.
REUTERS/Vasily Fedosenko

The New York Rangers are hiring Gerard Gallant as their next head coach, as first reported by Larry Brooks of the New York Post.

Gallant is fresh off of leading Team Canada to a 27th gold medal at the IIHF World Championships, which was just the latest triumph of an impressive coaching resume that features the 57-year-old working with rebuilding and inexperienced franchises. 

While he is known for winning the Western Conference title with the expansion Vegas Golden Knights in their very first year of existence in 2018, Gallant also led an afterthought of a Florida Panthers team to the postseason just two years earlier in 2016 where they were eliminated in the first round by the New York Islanders.

Gallant led the Knights back to the playoffs after losing the 2018 Stanley Cup Final to the Washington Capitals, but was bounced in the first round. After a four-game losing streak shortly past the halfway point of the 2019-20 season, Gallant was fired.

Rangers general manager Chris Drury was impressed by Gallant’s performance with Canada at the world championships, per Brooks which made him the favorite to take over the Rangers’ bench. 

He’ll be filling the void left by the firing of David Quinn, who was unable to see through the Rangers’ rebuilding efforts after three seasons — one that was sparked by president John Davidson and general manager Jeff Gorton, who were also fired early last month.

Gallant will be tasked in carrying out Drury’s vision to lead the Rangers back to prominence in the Eastern Conference. Once a perennial playoff contender, the Blueshirts only have one qualifying round appearance to show for the last four years of work that featured the acquisitions of Artemi Panarin and Adam Fox along with the arrival of Igor Shesterkin, while winning the first and second-overall picks of the NHL Draft that led to the selections of Alexis Lafreniere and Kaapo Kakko. 

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