Gallant coaching the Golden Knights in 2018
|Born||September 2, 1963|
Summerside, Prince Edward Island, Canada
|Occupation||Ice hockey coach, player|
|General manager||George McPhee|
|Team||Vegas Golden Knights|
|Previous team(s)||Columbus Blue Jackets|
|Years as NHL player||1984–1995|
|Years as a coach||1995–present|
|Years as an NHL coach||2004–present|
|Years with current team||2017–present|
Gallant was born in Summerside, Prince Edward Island. He grew up near a local ice rink and was often found sweeping the stands with his buddies in exchange for extra ice time. Gallant has had the nickname "Turk" since he was three or four years old. Gallant himself noted that when he first got to the NHL, a lot of the guys also called him "Spuddy" because of Prince Edward Island's reputation as the potato capital of Canada.
As a junior, Gallant played for three teams in the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League: the Sherbrooke Castors (1980–81, 1981–82), the St. Jean Beavers (1982–83), and the Verdun Juniors (1982–83). Gallant served as team captain during his final year in juniors.
Professional playing career
Gallant made his professional debut with the Adirondack Red Wings of the American Hockey League (AHL) in 1983. At the age of 19, he was the youngest regular on the roster. Spending the full 1983–84 season in the minor league, he finished with 31 goals, 64 points and 195 penalty minutes in 77 games.
Gallant split the 1984–85 season between the AHL and NHL, making his Detroit Red Wings debut against the New York Islanders on January 22, 1985. In his first game, he scored against Islanders' goaltender Billy Smith in the second period of a 5–4 Detroit victory that snapped a 12-game Red Wings' winless streak. In his second game, he fought Rangers' forward Bob Brooke.
Gallant opened the 1985–86 season as a full-time regular with the Red Wings. However, in a December 11 game against the Minnesota North Stars, he suffered a broken jaw during a fight with Dirk Graham. Gallant's jaw had to be wired-shut for six weeks, causing him to miss six weeks of games. When he returned, he sported a football-style facemask on his helmet. He ultimately appeared in 52 games, scoring 20 goals with 39 points and 106 penalty minutes. Gallant was part of an unfortunate incident in a November 26, 1986, game between the Toronto Maple Leafs and Red Wings in Detroit. During a scrum in front of the Leafs net, Gallant accidentally cut the face of Börje Salming with his skate blade after Salming had been knocked down. The injury required facial surgery and more than two hundred stitches to Salming's face.
Gallant's career took off after Jacques Demers was hired as the Red Wings head coach in 1986. In his next four seasons he averaged 36 goals, 80 points, and 235 penalty minutes. While he never played in the All-Star Game, he was named to the NHL All Star Second Team for the 1988–89 NHL season.
Injuries, mostly to his back, caused Gallant to miss over 30 games over the 1990–91 NHL season. In March 1991, he was forced to undergo surgery to remove a bone spur from his back, causing him to miss the rest of the regular season and the playoffs. Gallant returned to the Wings as a full-time regular for the 1991–92 and 1992–93 seasons. He provided his usual physical presence and finished with a +16 and +20 plus/minus rating; however was unable to duplicate his scoring prowess and the Wings did not offer him a contract to return.
On July 22, 1993, Gallant signed as a free agent with the Tampa Bay Lightning. He played in 51 games with the Lightning in 1993–94 and one game in the lockout-shortened 1995 season, along with 16 games with the Atlanta Knights, the Lightning's top farm team in the International Hockey League (IHL).
On October 23, 1995, Gallant signed as a free agent with the Detroit Vipers of the IHL, and was off to a good start with two goals and an assist in three games. However, on November 5, 1995, he suffered a career-ending back injury in practice and was forced to retire at the age of 32. Gallant finished his NHL career with 211 goals in 615 games as a left winger for the Red Wings and Lightning. He also scored 18 playoff goals.
International playing career
|Men's ice hockey|
Gallant played for Team Canada at the 1989 World Ice Hockey Championships under head coach Dave King. Playing alongside Red Wings teammate Steve Yzerman, Gallant scored two goals and had three assists in eight games as the Canadians won the silver medal.
Despite his smaller stature (5 ft 10 in, 180 lbs), Gallant played the role of power forward during his time with the Red Wings - similar to NHL contemporary Kevin Dineen. Playing on the Red Wings top line alongside star Steve Yzerman and either Bob Probert or Paul MacLean, he was among the team leaders in both goals and penalty minutes. Gallant's 1988–89 line of 39 goals, 54 assists, and 230 penalty minutes was the first of its kind in NHL history (later matched by only Kevin Stevens in 1991–92 and Rick Tocchet in 1992–93). Detroit's coach at the time, Jacques Demers, said he thought Gallant's penchant for fighting was the only thing holding him back from a 50-goal season. Gallant had taken part in 17 fights in 1986–87, 19 fights in 1987–88, and 10 fights in 1988–89.
Gallant was a popular teammate, and served as an alternate captain alongside Bob Probert, Rick Zombo, or Steve Chiasson. He served as acting captain while Steve Yzerman was injured from March 2, 1988, through May 5, 1988.
Gallant then moved on to the professional coaching ranks, serving as an assistant coach for the Fort Wayne Komets of the IHL in 1998. He spent the 1999–2000 season serving as an assistant for the Louisville Panthers of the AHL under head coach Joe Paterson, a former teammate of Gallant's in Detroit.
Gallant then served as assistant for the Columbus Blue Jackets of the NHL from 2001 to 2004 under head coaches Dave King and Doug MacLean. King had served as Gallant's head coach for Team Canada at the 1989 World Ice Hockey Championships. MacLean had been an assistant coach with the Red Wings in the early 1990s. MacLean, who was also serving as the Blue Jackets general manager, resigned as head coach on January 1, 2004, and named Gallant as his successor. Gallant's assistant position was filled by veteran college hockey coach Dean Blais. Gallant served as the Blue Jackets head coach for the remainder of the 2003–04 season, through the 2004–05 season lost to the NHL lockout, all of the 2005–06 season, and a portion of the 2006–07 season. On November 13, 2006, Gallant was fired as head coach and was replaced by assistant Gary Agnew for five games. The Blue Jackets ultimately hired Ken Hitchcock as full-time coach on November 22, 2006.
In 2007, Gallant was named by Team Canada general manager Steve Yzerman as one of the two assistant coaches for the 2007 Men's World Ice Hockey Championships. Gallant helped the Canadian team to a championship and gold medal finish.
Gallant joined the New York Islanders as an assistant coach for the 2007–08 and 2008–09 seasons. Then head coach of the Islanders, Ted Nolan, had been a teammate of Gallant's on the Adirondack Red Wings in 1983.
On April 24, 2009, Gallant was named head coach of the Saint John Sea Dogs of the QMJHL. During his three seasons with Saint John, he compiled a 159-34-9 record and led the Sea Dogs to three first-place finishes, three league final appearances, two QMJHL championships (2011 & 2012) and one Memorial Cup (2011). Gallant was also named the QMJHL and Canadian Hockey League Coach of the Year twice (2010 & 2011).
On June 15, 2012, Gallant returned to the NHL when he was appointed as assistant coach with the Montreal Canadiens under Michel Therrien. Canadiens general manager Marc Bergevin had been a teammate of Gallant's with the Tampa Bay Lightning in the 1990s.
On June 21, 2014, he was named head coach of the NHL's Florida Panthers by then executive vice president and general manager, Dale Tallon. In his first season, he led the Panthers to a record of 38 wins, 29 losses, 5 overtime losses, and 10 shoot-out losses for 91 points. The record was an improvement of 9 wins and 25 points over the prior season. In 2015–16, Gallant led the upstart Panthers to a 24–12–4 record at the All-Star break, earning him a spot in the all-star game as the head coach for the Atlantic Division All-Stars. The Panthers finished with a club-record 47 wins and 103 points, enough for the second division title in franchise history. For his efforts, Gallant was named as a finalist for the Jack Adams Award. On November 27, 2016, Gallant was fired by new Panthers general manager Tom Rowe after posting an 11–10–1 record to start the season.
Gallant led the Golden Knights to one of the most successful debut seasons for an expansion team in North American major professional sports history. On January 3, 2018, it was announced that Gallant would coach the Pacific Division All-Stars in the 2018 NHL All-Star Game. On February 1, 2018, the Golden Knights set the NHL record for most wins (34) by an expansion franchise in league history. The mark was set in only 50 games played. They clinched the Pacific Division title on March 31, becoming the first true expansion team in the four major sports to do so (not counting all-expansion divisions). On April 25, 2018, Gallant was nominated for the Jack Adams Award for the second time, which he would be awarded on June 20.
Gallant and his wife, Pam, are the parents of two children, Melissa and Jason. Melissa is married to professional hockey player Darryl Boyce. Jason played four seasons with the Summerside Western Capitals of the MJAHL and currently coaches youth hockey.
Awards and championships
As a player
- QMJHL championship: 1982
- QMJHL championship: 1983
- QMJHL All-Star Third Team: 1982–83
- NHL All-Star Second Team: 1988–89
- IIHF World Championship – silver medal: 1989
As a coach
- RBC Cup: 1997
- Prince Edward Island Sports Hall of Fame: inducted 2001
- Brian Kilrea Coach of the Year Award: 2010, 2011
- IIHF World Championship – gold medal: 2007
- QMJHL League championship: 2011, 2012
- Memorial Cup championship: 2011
- Ron Lapointe Trophy – QMJHL Coach of the Year: 2011
- NHL All-Star Game: 2016, 2018
- Jack Adams Award: 2018
- The Hockey News, Scotty Bowman Award (Best Coach): 2018
|1983–84||Adirondack Red Wings||AHL||77||31||33||64||195||7||1||3||4||34|
|1984–85||Detroit Red Wings||NHL||32||6||12||18||66||3||0||0||0||11|
|1984–85||Adirondack Red Wings||AHL||46||18||29||47||131||—||—||—||—||—|
|1985–86||Detroit Red Wings||NHL||52||20||19||39||106||—||—||—||—||—|
|1986–87||Detroit Red Wings||NHL||80||38||34||72||216||16||8||6||14||43|
|1987–88||Detroit Red Wings||NHL||73||34||39||73||242||16||6||9||15||55|
|1988–89||Detroit Red Wings||NHL||76||39||54||93||230||6||1||2||3||40|
|1989–90||Detroit Red Wings||NHL||69||36||44||80||254||—||—||—||—||—|
|1990–91||Detroit Red Wings||NHL||45||10||16||26||111||—||—||—||—||—|
|1991–92||Detroit Red Wings||NHL||69||14||22||36||187||11||2||2||4||25|
|1992–93||Detroit Red Wings||NHL||67||10||20||30||188||6||1||2||3||4|
|1993–94||Tampa Bay Lightning||NHL||51||4||9||13||74||—||—||—||—||—|
|1994–95||Tampa Bay Lightning||NHL||1||0||0||0||0||—||—||—||—||—|
Head coaching record
|CBJ||2003–04||45||16||24||4||1||(37)||4th in Central||—||—||Missed playoffs|
|CBJ||2005–06||82||35||43||—||4||74||3rd in Central||—||—||Missed playoffs|
|FLA||2014–15||82||38||29||—||15||91||6th in Atlantic||—||—||Missed playoffs|
|FLA||2015–16||82||47||26||—||9||103||1st in Atlantic||2||4||Lost in First Round (NYI)|
|VGK||2017–18||82||51||24||—||7||109||1st in Pacific||13||7||Lost in Stanley Cup Finals (WSH)|
|VGK||2018–19||82||43||32||—||7||93||3rd in Pacific||3||4||Lost in First Round (SJS)|
|Total||492||246||197||4||45||630||18||15||3 playoff appearances|
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- MILLER, RUSTY (November 14, 2006). "Blue Jackets Fire Coach Gerard Gallant" – via washingtonpost.com.
- MILLER, RUSTY (November 23, 2006). "Blue Jackets Hire Ken Hitchcock As Coach" – via washingtonpost.com.
- IIHF. "Champs from the Maritimes".
- "Canadiens name Gerard Gallant, Clement Jodoin assistant coaches". cbc.ca. Retrieved July 23, 2012.
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- "Panthers fire coach Gerard Gallant". NHL.com. November 27, 2016. Retrieved November 28, 2016.
- "Golden Knights Name Gerard Gallant Head Coach". NHL.com. April 13, 2017. Retrieved April 13, 2017.
- Carp, Steve (January 3, 2018). "Golden Knights' Gerard Gallant to coach Pacific Division All-Stars". Las Vegas Review-Journal. Retrieved February 3, 2018.
- Carp, Steve (February 1, 2018). "Golden Knights set NHL record for expansion team with 34th win". Las Vegas Review-Journal. Retrieved February 3, 2018.
- Schoen, David (March 31, 2018). "Golden Knights win, 3-2, clinch Pacific Division title". Las Vegas Review-Journal. Retrieved April 5, 2018.
- "Jack Adams Award finalists unveiled". NHL.com. April 27, 2018. Retrieved April 25, 2018.
- "Gerard Gallant wins Jack Adams Award as NHL's coach of the year". Sportsnet.ca. June 20, 2018. Retrieved June 21, 2018.
- "Jason Gallant".
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- Gerard Gallant career statistics at The Internet Hockey Database
- Feature at NHL.com[permanent dead link]
| Head coach of the Columbus Blue Jackets
| Head coach of the Florida Panthers
| Head coach of the Vegas Golden Knights