November 27th of 2016 marked a very interesting date in the NHL's 2016-2017 regular season schedule.
On that day, the Florida Panthers fired head coach Gerard Gallant, and rumors began swirling around the League regarding why exactly one of last season's Jack Adams Award finalists (awarded to the coach of the year), who led his team to the top of the Atlantic Division with a franchise record of 47-26-9 and 103 points as well as into a playoff spot, was relieved of his duties.
There were rumors that Florida's organization was headed towards a more analytics-driven philosophy, and Gallant reportedly stood firmly against the current trend that's gaining much leverage across the NHL.
ESPN Insider Pierre LeBrun penned an article earlier this morning regarding what Gallant had to say about his firing, as the former head coach put an end to any speculation:
"I wasn't fired because of analytics," Gallant told LeBrun. "I loved coaching the Florida Panthers and I'm a stubborn guy at times, maybe I said a little too much, maybe I gave my opinion a little bit too much. Maybe when they asked for my opinion, I have an honest opinion and sometimes it doesn't help you. Maybe it wasn't always what they wanted to hear. I don't know where it went from there ..."
Interestingly enough, Gallant's dismissal is the only firing of an NHL head coach thus far this season, and it appears as though he will be one of the candidates to take on a coaching role with the Vegas Golden Knights this year.
When asked about whether he continues to watch Panthers games, Gallant responded:
"I haven't watched a lot of their games, to be honest with you, but I've watched their last couple."