The Calgary Flames should avoid hiring Gerard Gallant as head coach
Photo credit:Brace Hemmelgarn-USA TODAY Sports
3 months ago
With the Stanley Cup Final matchup set, all we have to do now is wait for the final series of the 2022-23 NHL post-season to begin. However, that doesn’t mean the news stops, as the coaching carousel was in full swing with firing, hirings, and considerations for jobs across the hockey landscape reported by NHL insiders.
Unfortunately for the Calgary Flames, Andrew Brunette is now off the market, as the Nashville Predators announced that they relieved John Hynes of his head coaching duties, and the reported hire is the former Florida Panthers head coach. In other news, Hynes appears to be well on his way to landing a head coaching job, though, as it was reported that he might be on the radar of New York Rangers general manager Chris Drury for their head coaching vacancy. Spencer Carbery is the newest head coach of the Washington Capitals, and Peter Laviolette is part of the Rangers’ head coaching search as well.
The most important report, however, came from Pierre LeBrun of The Athletic, regarding the Flames head coaching vacancy.
The report says the Flames are going to be considering Gerard Gallant for the head coaching position, which I have some issues with.
I wrote a piece here at FlamesNation about the problems with this current iteration of the Flames having a retread head coach at the helm, and I will gladly stand by that statement, especially if the coach is Gallant.
Gallant first got his start with the Columbus Blue Jackets after being promoted in the middle of the 2003-04 season. After the lockout, he coached the entire 2005-06 season and was fired after a 5-9-1 start in 2006-07. Then, he moved around a bit, working as an assistant coach with the New York Islanders, moving to the QMJHL to be the head coach of the Saint John Sea Dogs, and then getting another assistant coaching job with the Montreal Canadiens before being hired as head coach of the Panthers, where he coached two full seasons in 2014-15 and 2015-16 before being fired early in 2016-17.
From there, he became the first head coach of the expansion Vegas Golden Knights, where he led them to a Stanley Cup Final in their first season. After being fired in 2019-20, he was given the head coaching job in New York with the Rangers. For two seasons, he was the bench boss on Broadway, and now we’re here, where he’s back on the open market looking for another head coaching job.
There’s a clear track record with Gallant that the Flames don’t need to have behind the bench at this crucial point. He’s the coach for two or three seasons and usually finds regular season (and occasional post-season) success, all before either the team in his third season has a mediocre to poor start or he’s relieved of his coaching duties before the third season can begin.
The way Gallant’s 2022-23 season with the Rangers ended drew tons of ire from fans. Losing in seven games to the rival New Jersey Devils and making no adjustments to their on-ice tactics while doing so was the final straw. There were also reportedly multiple issues between Drury and Gallant during that post-season series.
The Flames want to get younger, faster, and play with more possession. That’s the way the game has been trending for some time. And Gallant not only didn’t play the Rangers skilled players as they were meant to be played, but he refused to adjust the Xs and Os when the team needed it most.
Of course, there are some good things about what Gallant can do as a coach, and he does have a track record of regular season success. However, his longevity (or rather lack thereof) with his previous jobs and noted stubbornness should make anyone hesitant at this crucial point for the Flames.
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