After firing head coach David Quinn on Wednesday, the New York Rangers and new GM Chris Drury are wasting no time in their search for a replacement. TSN’s Darren Dreger reports that the club has already received permission to interview one of the biggest names on the coaching market. Gerard Gallant will get the first crack at interviewing for the head coach vacancy in the Big Apple.
The Vegas Golden Knights have approved of the interview, having fired Gallant from his role as head coach last January with term on his contract – to much surprise. The former Columbus Blue Jackets and Florida Panthers bench boss is a Jack Adams Award recipient with a .550 points percentage in his nine years as a head coach. He took the expansion Knights to the Stanley Cup Final in their inaugural season and then back to the playoffs the following year. Gallant has never made it through three years with any of his clubs, but has nevertheless established himself as an a valued name in the NHL coaching world. If Gallant doesn’t land the New York job, he will surely have interest elsewhere, particularly from the newest expansion team in the Seattle Kraken.
The timing of this interview does have some reasoning behind it. While Gallant may indeed be the Rangers’ top candidate, the rush to interview him has more to do with his upcoming plans. Gallant is getting ready to coach Team Canada at the World Championships, which begin on May 21. Gallant will actually depart for Riga, Latvia this weekend, according to Dreger, so the Rangers wanted to touch base with him before he left and his focus was elsewhere. Of course, Drury will be very keyed into the World Championships himself as the GM of Team USA. A strong outing for Gallant leading a Canadian roster that won’t have the typical amount of talent against Drury’s American squad could be what pushes Gallant to the top of the Rangers’ shortlist to be their next head coach.