Rangers expected to hire Gerard Gallant as head coach?
Gerard Gallant led Canada to the 2021 IIHF Men's World Championship earlier this month. TASS

The New York Rangers have found their new head coach. Larry Brooks of the New York Post is reporting that the Rangers have reached an agreement to hire Gerard Gallant, who had been considered the favorite to land the job for some time.

It seemed like a perfect fit from the moment the Rangers fired David Quinn, but Gallant and the Rangers both did their due diligence. The veteran head coach interviewed elsewhere, including multiple meetings with the Columbus Blue Jackets before they decided to go with Brad Larsen, while New York spoke with several other candidates while Gallant coached Team Canada in Latvia at the World Championship. The two sides obviously decided that it was the best fit in the end, with Pierre LeBrun of The Athletic tweeting that it will be a four-year deal.

If Gallant gets through that term, it will be the first time he lasts four years with a team. In each of Gallant’s head coaching stops, he has been fired in the middle of his third season with the team, most recently by the Vegas Golden Knights in 2020. Even though Gallant led the Golden Knights to the Stanley Cup Final in year one and back to the playoffs in year two, they replaced him with Pete DeBoer last season after a so-so beginning to the regular season. Since then, the 57-year-old has been waiting for the right opportunity, while also helping Canada to a gold medal in the recent international tournament.

That opportunity is in New York, where a young, talented Rangers team is ready to take the next step. The front office was gutted earlier this year when chairman James Dolan fired both president John Davidson and GM Jeff Gorton, installing Chris Drury in their place. At the time, it was clear that ownership wasn’t happy with the speed at which the rebuild was moving, meaning you can expect a few more kick-start moves this summer. One of those is the hiring of Gallant, who knows how to both develop young players and get the best out of veterans at the same time.

He is responsible for the only 100+ point season in Florida Panthers history, which he achieved thanks to the performances by 20-year-old Aleksander Barkov and 43-year-old Jaromir Jagr. He managed a .601 winning percentage with the Golden Knights, despite many believing Vegas would be near the bottom of the standings like most expansion teams at the beginning of their existence.

He’ll now be tasked with reaching the playoffs in a tough Metropolitan Division, while also turning the likes of Alexis Lafreniere, Kaapo Kakko and Vitali Kravtsov into the difference-makers they were drafted to be.

This article first appeared on Pro Hockey Rumors and was syndicated with permission.

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