It’s fair to say that a certain constituency of Detroit Red Wings fans will take added interest in the fortunes of the New York Rangers next season. That’s because the Rangers are hiring former Red Wings forward Gerard Gallant to a four-year deal to coach the team.
There was a contigency among the Red Wings faithful clamoring for Detroit GM Steve Yzerman to jettison coach Jeff Blashill and bring in Gallant to take over the reins of the club. The fact of the matter is had Yzerman wanted to make that happen, it would’ve happened. Gallant and Yzerman were longtime linemates with the Red Wings.
BREAKING: Rangers have reached agreement to hire Gerard Gallant as head coach, Post has learned.
— Larry Brooks (@NYP_Brooksie) June 14, 2021
Obviously, Yzerman saw more value in keeping Blashill on the job than in making a change to Gallant.
Like the Wings, the Rangers are rebuilding with an infusion of young talent, so Detroit supporters will utilize that fact to draw parallels between the relative success of the two teams next season. However, New York also has veteran support from the likes of Mika Zibanejad and Artemi Panarin. Overall, the Rangers are a club further along the learning curve and closer to winning than Detroit. They nearly made the playoffs this season.
Short Shelf Line
Supporters of Gallant will point to his success stories. He guided the Florida Panthers to an Atlantic Division title. He took the first-year expansion Vegas Golden Knights to the Stanley Cup final.
Believe it’s a four-year deal for Gallant and Rangers https://t.co/W55qqurVF5
— Pierre LeBrun (@PierreVLeBrun) June 14, 2021
Encompassing his entire coaching career, Gallant’s resume reads like that of his old Detroit coach Jacques Demers. His act seems to have a short shelf life. The Rangers are his fourth NHL stop. Gallant has been fired in third season of each of his previous NHL coaching stints.