The Vegas Golden Knights send yet another shock-wave throughout the league yesterday when they announced they’d fired head coach and former Detroit Red Wings forward Gerard Gallant.
Did the Detroit Red Wings next head coach seemingly fall into their lap?
Gerard Gallant is fondly remembered in Detroit being a staple on Steve Yzerman‘s wing for most of nine seasons. The Detroit Red Wings selected Gallant in the sixth round of the 1981 NHL draft with the 107th pick. The two have remained great friends long after their playing days,
the pair saw plenty of success playing with one another mostly in Gallant’s favor. It goes without mentioning Steve Yzerman was a point-producing superstar playing on a bad team – sound familiar? Well, the only issue is Detroit doesn’t have a Yzerman type walking out of the tunnel onto the ice in 2020.
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Gerard recorded 467 points throughout his Red Wings career in just 563 games. He played with a mean streak if you are old enough to remember. He notched an even 1600 penalty minutes during those nine years with the Red Wings. He was a power forward at just 5’10.
With the Vegas Golden Knights slipping to fifth in the Pacific Division, the organization decided to make a change. The move initially triggered some speculation with all these coaches being removed this season, but this is said to be strictly a performance base decision. It just seems odd with Vegas only a mere three points out of first place in the division.
The move comes on the heels of a four-game skid. Vegas GM Kelly McCrimmon stated via Yahoo Sports;
"“We feel we’ve underperformed a little bit, and certainly that’s not to pile at the feet of Mike and Gerard, but sometimes you feel a change is needed so that’s what went into the decision.”"
With Gallant now a free agent, he will be a highly sought after head coach. It’s a year where one-third of the NHL teams have made a coaching change, yet the Detroit Red Wings continue to ride out Jeff Blashill. Recently Steve Yzerman exclaimed how impressed he is with how Jeff Blashill has conducted himself in such a tough situation. Steve mentioned he’d handled the young, up and coming players nicely, breaking them in slowly as the losses continue to mount.
I wonder if Yzerman’s tune will change now that his friend Gallant is available. Don’t forget Detroit currently has Dan Bylsma on the bench, and he could be quickly promoted.
The Detroit Red Wings currently sit with a record of 12-32-3, good for 27 points, which is far and away the worst team in hockey. The Ducks sit second last with 39 points. As much as Steve Yzerman certainly would love to lure Gallant to Detroit, would Gerard be interested in inheriting this mess in Detroit when he will have a laundry list of additional options?
Gerard Gallant has coached in parts of nine different seasons with stops in Columbus, Florida, and Vegas. He’s posted an overall record of 270-216-4-51. His playoff record currently sits at 18-15.