Gerard Gallant

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search

Gerard Gallant
Gerard Gallant 2018-02-04 2.jpg
Gallant coaching the Golden Knights in 2018
Born (1963-09-02) September 2, 1963 (age 55)
OccupationIce hockey coach, player

Coaching career
PositionHead coach
General managerGeorge McPhee
TeamVegas Golden Knights
Previous team(s)Columbus Blue Jackets
Florida Panthers
Years as NHL player1984–1995
Years as a coach1995–present
Years as an NHL coach2004–present
Years with current team2017–present
Ice hockey career
Height 5 ft 10 in (178 cm)
Weight 190 lb (86 kg; 13 st 8 lb)
Position Left wing
Shot Left
Played for Detroit Red Wings
Tampa Bay Lightning
NHL Draft 107th overall, 1981
Detroit Red Wings
Playing career 1984–1995

Gerard Gallant (born September 2, 1963) is a Canadian ice hockey coach and former player. He is currently the head coach for the Vegas Golden Knights of the National Hockey League (NHL).

Early life[edit]

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.[1] Gallant has had the nickname "Turk" since he was three or four years old.[2][3] 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.[3]

While playing for the Summerside Crystals of the Maritime Junior A Hockey League at the age of 16, he netted 60 goals and 115 points in just 45 games.

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.[4]

After his first junior season in 1981, Gallant finished as runner-up to Claude Verret in voting for 1980–81 Michel Bergeron Trophy as QMJHL offensive rookie of the year.[5]

Professional playing career[edit]

Gallant was drafted by the Detroit Red Wings in the 1981 NHL Entry Draft, sixth round, one-hundred seventh overall.[6]

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.[7]

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.[8] 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.[5] When he returned, he sported a football-style facemask on his helmet.[9] 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.[10]

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.[11] 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[edit]

Medal record
Representing  Canada
Men's ice hockey
World Championships
Silver medal – second place 1989 Sweden

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.[12][13]

Player profile[edit]

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,[14] 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).[15] 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.[5]

Former Wings head coach and later Ottawa Senators scout Nick Polano said of Gallant: "He was a tough kid, a tough competitor... and I'll tell you, he was a (expletive) to play against."[16]

Coaching career[edit]

Gallant began his coaching career in 1995–96 with his hometown Summerside Capitals of the Maritime Junior Hockey League, leading the team to the Royal Bank Cup in 1997.

Gallant then moved on to the professional coaching ranks, serving as an assistant coach for the Fort Wayne Komets of the IHL in 1998.[17][18] 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.[19]

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.[20] The Blue Jackets ultimately hired Ken Hitchcock as full-time coach on November 22, 2006.[21]

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.[22]

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).[17]

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.[3][23]

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.[24] 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.[25] 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.[26]

On April 13, 2017, Gallant was announced as the first head coach of the Vegas Golden Knights.[27]

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.[28] 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.[29] 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).[30] On April 25, 2018, Gallant was nominated for the Jack Adams Award for the second time,[31] which he would be awarded on June 20.[32]

Personal life[edit]

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.[33][34]

Awards and championships[edit]

As a player[edit]

  • 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[edit]

Career statistics[edit]

    Regular season   Playoffs
Season Team League GP G A Pts PIM GP G A Pts PIM
1979–80 Summerside Crystals MJrHL 45 60 55 115 90
1980–81 Sherbrooke Castors QMJHL 68 41 59 100 265 14 6 13 19 46
1981–82 Sherbrooke Castors QMJHL 58 34 58 92 260 22 14 24 38 84
1981–82 Sherbrooke Castors M-Cup 5 5 3 8 28
1982–83 St-Jean Castors QMJHL 33 28 25 53 139
1982–83 Verdun Juniors QMJHL 29 26 49 75 105 15 14 19 33 84
1982–83 Verdun Juniors M-Cup 4 3 1 4 23
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 Atlanta Knights IHL 16 3 3 6 31
1994–95 Tampa Bay Lightning NHL 1 0 0 0 0
1995–96 Detroit Vipers IHL 3 2 1 3 6
NHL totals 615 211 269 480 1674 58 18 21 39 178

Head coaching record[edit]

Team Year Regular season Postseason
G W L T OTL Pts Finish W L Result
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
CBJ 2006–07 15 5 9 1 (11) (fired)
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)
FLA 2016–17 22 11 10 1 (23) (fired)
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


  1. ^ sweepi
  2. ^ Marrazza, Dan (April 17, 2017). "Gallant Explains Origins Of His "Turk" Nickname". Retrieved September 9, 2018.
  3. ^ a b c Malinowski, Mark (July 21, 2013). "GERARD GALLANT". Retrieved September 9, 2018.
  4. ^ "Gerard Gallant".
  5. ^ a b c "1981 NHL Entry Draft -- Gerard Gallant".
  6. ^ "Florida Panthers Coaching Staff".
  7. ^ "Gerard Gallant hockey statistics and profile at".
  8. ^[permanent dead link]
  9. ^ "Gallant facemask".
  10. ^ "Not For The Faint Of Heart".
  11. ^ "A Gallant Decision To Relight Career".
  12. ^ "Murray Accepts Head Coaching Position with Team Canada".
  13. ^
  14. ^ Times, Joe Lapointe, Special To The New York (January 13, 1988). "Wings' Yzerman Flourishes On Graceful Scoring Touch" – via
  15. ^ "Player Season Finder -".
  16. ^ "Gallant recalls making Wings scoring history with Yzerman, MacLean". December 4, 2014. Retrieved May 21, 2018.
  17. ^ a b "Gerard Gallant Named New Coach of Florida Panthers".
  18. ^ ""Vagabond" Komets have found home in coaching -". Archived from the original on March 4, 2016. Retrieved February 27, 2016.
  19. ^ Little, Todd (June 3, 2014). "A look at Florida Panthers coaching candidate Gerard Gallant". Litter Box Cats. Retrieved April 25, 2019.
  20. ^ MILLER, RUSTY (November 14, 2006). "Blue Jackets Fire Coach Gerard Gallant" – via
  21. ^ MILLER, RUSTY (November 23, 2006). "Blue Jackets Hire Ken Hitchcock As Coach" – via
  22. ^ IIHF. "Champs from the Maritimes".
  23. ^ "Canadiens name Gerard Gallant, Clement Jodoin assistant coaches". Retrieved July 23, 2012.
  24. ^ "Gerard Gallant Named New Coach of Florida Panthers".
  25. ^ "Gerard Gallant Named Jack Adams Award Finalist". May 6, 2016. Retrieved November 18, 2016.
  26. ^ "Panthers fire coach Gerard Gallant". November 27, 2016. Retrieved November 28, 2016.
  27. ^ "Golden Knights Name Gerard Gallant Head Coach". April 13, 2017. Retrieved April 13, 2017.
  28. ^ Carp, Steve (January 3, 2018). "Golden Knights' Gerard Gallant to coach Pacific Division All-Stars". Las Vegas Review-Journal. Retrieved February 3, 2018.
  29. ^ Carp, Steve (February 1, 2018). "Golden Knights set NHL record for expansion team with 34th win". Las Vegas Review-Journal. Retrieved February 3, 2018.
  30. ^ Schoen, David (March 31, 2018). "Golden Knights win, 3-2, clinch Pacific Division title". Las Vegas Review-Journal. Retrieved April 5, 2018.
  31. ^ "Jack Adams Award finalists unveiled". April 27, 2018. Retrieved April 25, 2018.
  32. ^ "Gerard Gallant wins Jack Adams Award as NHL's coach of the year". June 20, 2018. Retrieved June 21, 2018.
  33. ^ "Jason Gallant".
  34. ^ "jason-gallant – Andrews Hockey Growth Programs".
  35. ^ "Gerard "Turk" Gallant - Prince Edward Island Sports Hall of Fame - PEI Sports Hall of Fame".

External links[edit]

Preceded by
Doug MacLean
Head coach of the Columbus Blue Jackets
Succeeded by
Gary Agnew
Preceded by
Peter Horachek
Head coach of the Florida Panthers
Succeeded by
Tom Rowe
Preceded by
Position created
Head coach of the Vegas Golden Knights
Succeeded by