Gerard Gallant emerges as favorite for New York Rangers coaching position

Could the man known as “Spuddy” soon become the new bench boss in the Big Apple?

HockeyFeed

Following the stunning firings of team president John Davidson and GM Jeff Gorton, the New York Rangers continued their makeover of team personnel with the firing of head coach David Quinn after three years on the job. His assistants David Oliver, Jacques Martin and Greg Brown were also shown the door. 

There have been a few names floated as possibilities to take over the job, including two controversial names - Mike Babcock and John Tortorella. Of course, the latter had coached the Rangers for several seasons before his dismissal in 2013. The former is a Stanley Cup champion with the Detroit Red Wings in 2008 and two-time Olympic gold medal winning-coach with Team Canada, but found himself in the crosshairs of former NHL players who accused him of verbal and metal abuse. 

And now, according to a recent report, the Rangers could have their eyes set on arguably the top coaching free-agent available. According to TSN Hockey Insider Darren Dreger, they've received permission to interview Gerard Gallant. 

Gallant, as you may remember, helped lead the expansion Vegas Golden Knights to the Stanley Cup Finals in their inaugural season of 2017-18, and followed that up with another strong season and playoff appearance in 2018-19. For his efforts in Vegas in their first year, he was awarded the Jack Adams Trophy as the top coach in the NHL. However, team management decided to show him the door last season, and he was replaced by former San Jose Sharks bench boss Peter DeBoer. 

Gallant's coaching record also includes leading the Florida Panthers to a playoff spot in 2015-16, as well as coaching the Columbus Blue Jackets and serving as an assistant with the New York Islanders. 

New team president and general manager Chris Drury wants a coach on Broadway that commands respect and features a strong resume and that will be able to guide the young players on the roster like Alexis Lafreniere, Kaapo Kakko, Vitali Kravtsov, Filip Chytil and Adam Fox. 

Gallant, who has already led young core players such as the likes of Rick Nash, Reilly Smith, Aleksander Barkov, Jonathan Huberdeau, Max Pacioretty and Mark Stone, could soon be tasked with leading the Original 6 franchise through the next step of their rebuild.