According to The New York Post’s Larry Brooks, the New York Rangers have reached an agreement to hire former Vegas Golden Knights head coach Gerard Gallant as their bench boss. According to The Athletic’s Pierre LeBrun, his contract will be for four years.
In 541 career games behind the bench with the Golden Knights, Columbus Blue Jackets, and Florida Panthers, the 57-year-old went 270-216-51 (.550 points percentage) in the regular season and 18-15 (.545 winning percentage) in the Stanley Cup Playoffs. He took the Golden Knights to the Stanley Cup Final in their inaugural season, where they lost to the Washington Capitals in five games but set every expansion team record.
During his tenure with the Golden Knights, they were one of the league’s best possession teams, ranked 10th with a 3.11 goals-per-game average, ninth with a 2.83 goals-against per game, 16th with a 19.6% power-play efficiency, and tied for 11th with an 80.6% penalty-killing rate. He won the Jack Adams Award in 2018 and was nominated in 2016 with the Panthers.
The Rangers fired head coach David Quinn on May 12 after they missed the Stanley Cup Playoffs for the fourth consecutive season. They also fired the rest of their coaching staff and GM Jeff Gorton in addition to President John Davidson the prior week. Assistant GM Chris Drury replaced Gorton.
The Rangers lost five of their last six games in regulation in a stretch where they were shut out three times. They finished 11 points out of a Stanley Cup Playoff spot.
The team finished the season with an average of 3.14 goals-per-game (10th in the NHL), 2.77 goals-against per game (tied with the Pittsburgh Penguins for 14th), a 20.7% power-play efficiency (14th), and an 82.3% penalty-killing rate (ninth).
The Buffalo Sabres, Seattle Kraken, and Montreal Canadiens are the only teams without a head coach for next season. Though, the Canadiens will likely take the interim tag off of Dominque Ducharme after advancing to the Stanley Cup Semifinals. Mike Babcock, John Tortorella, Claude Julien, and Rick Tocchet highlight some of the best coaches available.
Assistant Mike Kelly was with Gallant in Florida and Vegas. It has yet to be announced whether he will join Gallant, who led Team Canada to the 2021 IIHF World Championship as head coach last month, in New York.
By Harrison Brown