Panthers Fire Head Coach Gerard Gallant
The Florida Panthers have fired head coach Gerard Gallant after Sunday’s 3-2 loss to the Carolina Hurricanes.
The Panthers are currently 11-10-1 so far this season and have struggled to gain momentum especially with injuries to key players such as Jonathan Huberdeau, Nick Bjugstad and Alex Petrovic. Gallant led the Panthers to a 47-26-9 record last season to win the Atlantic Division, a playoff berth since 2012, and improving from 91 points to a franchise-best 103 points. Gallant even earned himself a nomination for the Jack Adams Award last season as he coached the Panthers since the 2014-15 season.
If things weren’t bad enough, Gallant was waiting outside PNC Arena for a cab after he found out he was fired.
General Manger Tom Rowe will take over as the interim head coach with no lead candidates for the position at the moment. The Panthers have also fired assistant coach Mike Kelly.
Ever since the Florida Panthers focused more on analytics, the team took an advantage to that by adding a group of skilled, young players along with core players and key off-season signings. Throughout the past year, Panthers management have extended core players Aaron Ekblad, Aleksander Barkov, Vincent Trocheck, Reilly Smith and Huberdeau to long-term contracts. In addition to that, the Panthers also signed defenseman Keith Yandle and Jason Demers over the summer. All of those players are under contract until at least 2020-21 and none is older than 25. They also got 44-year-old Jaromir Jagr to re-sign for a second time.
Gallant is surprisingly the first coach to be fired this season.