There are some pictures that have surfaced that suggest former Florida Panthers' head coach Gerard Gallant may have been made to wait for a taxi, bags in hand, following his termination after a 3-2 Florida Panthers loss to the Carolina Hurricanes on Sunday night.
Gallant is shown out front of PNC Arena in Raleigh, North Carolina where he was reportedly forced to stand there as he waited for a taxi cab to come pick him up and drive him to the airport. That claim is also supported by photographic evidence from Mark Lazerus of the Chicago Sun Times that shows a Gallant loading his bags into the taxi, it's also notable that it's a Carolina Hurricanes employee helping Gallant into the taxi, rather than a Panthers employee extending him the courtesy.
One person who goes by "tarheelhockey" claimed that they was a witness to the event and offered the following description:
I was there. It was worse than the photos make it look.
At PNC Arena, the service entrance is where both teams leave the building. As a result, a crowd of fans gathers there after every game to look for autographs and get some face time with the players. Tonight, there was a mix of Canes fans, Panthers fans, and miscellaneous Jagr fans. I was out there with my 8 year old son because he wanted to get his stick signed.
After nearly all the Hurricanes players had left, the Florida buses were still parked at the loading dock. That never happens, because visiting teams usually have a plane to catch and beat it out of there quickly. It became a topic of conversation between the fans and security that the Panthers were taking a weirdly long time to leave.
Around that time, I checked the Canes GDT and saw a post that Gallant had been fired. So naturally, my reaction was to turn to the first person next to me and say something like, 'Holy crap, they're still here because they just canned their coach!". Which of course broke the news to everyone in earshot, and so everyone was talking about it by the time the Panthers buses finally pulled out.
By the time Gallant came out 10 or 15 minutes later, the whole crowd at the security gate knew what had happened. He had to come all the way out of the secure area into the public parking lot, with half a dozen arena employees helping him carry his bags to a taxi which was very conspicuously parked right in front of everyone.
The point being, what you don't see in those photos is the crowd of fans 50 feet away who were ALL taking pictures and video while Gallant awkwardly waited for the cab to get loaded. The worst part (and I considered not mentioning this, as it really doesn't reflect well on our fanbase) was one guy singing the "Hey Hey Goodbye" song in Gallant's direction.
So yes, that was just about the worst possible way it could have gone down, short of breaking the news to him on live TV or something.
Here's Gallant waiting outside.
Here's the Hurricanes employee loading him into the taxi.