As Gerard Gallant waits for his next NHL gig, his next coaching stop isn’t a bad tuneup.
The former Golden Knights coach has been named the coach for Team Canada during the IIHF World Championships which start May 21 in Latvia.
Gallant, the winner of the Jack Adams Award in 2018, has been out of coaching since January 2020. Gallant was fired and replaced by Pete DeBoer after two-and-a-half years with the league’s newest team.
Gallant’s longtime assistant Mike Kelly will join his staff. Andre Tourigny, a rising coach in the junior ranks in Canada, will round out Gallant’s staff.
“Gerard and Mike have worked together both at the NHL and junior level and have an understanding of what it takes to compete and win. André complements them with his extensive coaching résumé and recent experience at the World Juniors,” said Tom Renney, CEO of Hockey Canada. “We believe we have selected a group that will build on each other’s strengths and provide exceptional leadership, with input from [Team Canada general manager] Roberto [Luongo] and the Olympic management group, as our team prepares to compete for a gold medal.”
Gallant was hired by the Golden Knights on April 13, 2017 after a two-plus-year stint with the Florida Panthers. The Prince Edward Island native led the expansion Knights to a 51-win regular season, a Pacific Division title, and a berth in the Stanley Cup Final in Year 1. Vegas reached the playoffs in Year 2 but were eliminated by the San Jose Sharks in seven games.
In Year 3, the Golden Knights were in first place in the Pacific Division on Jan. 4, but a four-game losing streak, capped by a 4-2 loss in Buffalo on Jan. 14, saw Gallant’s tenure end the following morning.
There could be options for Gallant next season, primarily with the Seattle Kraken. The fit would work there; having known what it takes to work with an expansion team and come within three wins of ultimate glory. Perhaps the Columbus Blue Jackets could be an option, or the Buffalo Sabres should he dare think of a job like that.
Gallant will have his suitors when the time comes, but the fact he’s back into coaching now is a good sign.