Two days after word leaked out that they had hired Gerard Gallant as their head coach, the Rangers made it official on Wednesday, announcing that the team is bringing Gallant aboard to be their 36th head coach, succeeding David Quinn, who was let go after the season ended.
"I would like to welcome Gerard to the New York Rangers,’’ James Dolan, the CEO of Madison Square Garden, the Rangers and the Knicks, said in the press release introducing Gallant. "Gerard’s proven track record has made him one of the league’s most sought-after coaches, and we are fortunate to have him as part of the team. I have no doubt that he will play a critical role in helping us take the next steps to building a championship-caliber team.’’
"We are excited to announce that Gerard will be the next head coach of the New York Rangers,’’ team President and General Manager Chris Drury said. "His vast experience and success behind the bench at several levels make him the ideal choice to lead our team on the ice.’’
Gallant, 57, coached Canada to an unlikely gold medal at the World Championships earlier this month in Riga, Latvia, after the Canadians opened the tournament with three straight losses. In the NHL, he led the expansion Vegas Golden Knights to the Stanley Cup final in their inaugural season of 2017-18, and was named the league’s Coach of the Year that season.
Prior to that, he had coached the Florida Panthers and the Columbus Blue Jackets, following an 11-season career as a player, most of those years as a tough left wing with the Detroit Red Wings.
A native of Summerside, Prince Edward Island, Gallant has coached 541 NHL games, and has a career record of 270-216-55. He has, though, been fired in the third season of each of his three previous stops. The Rangers will formally introduce him to the media in a press conference next Tuesday.