Future Hall-of-Famer and Current Star Sing Praises of Rangers’ Hire
The line of players praising the New York Rangers new coach is out the door, down the street and around the corner. At the head of the line, a future NHL Hall-of-Famer, and a current-day NHL star.
Back-tracking a bit, Larry Brooks of the New York Post tweeted that the Rangers had come to an agreement to hire Gerard Gallant as their next head coach. Per ESPN, the deal is reported to be four years, and installs Gallant as the bench boss for the upcoming 2021-22 season. Gallant last coached Team Canada to a gold medal in the 2021 IIHF Championship, after serving as the first coach in the history of the Vegas Golden Knights.
The Rangers made the right call, and a few notable players agreed.
First, let's check in with Jaromir Jagr. Jagr played with the Rangers from 2003 to 2008, and played under Gallant from 2014 through the beginning of the 2016-17 season. At the time Gallant was fired, Jagr was 44 years old. That's a veteran that knows a good coach when he plays for one. Here's what he told Larry Brooks:
“You have to be honest with the top guys and create trust with them. You have to be tough but you have to create the [environment] so players want to play for you and will do extra. That’s the way I see it. And that’s the way he is, not only with the top guys but with everyone, no matter who you are.” - Jaromir Jagr
Next, let's check in with Jonathan Marchessault, who played for Gallant both with the Florida Panthers, and with the upstart Vegas Golden Knights. Marchessault was not nearly as well-established in the NHL when "Turk" took a chance on him:
"Turk [Gerard Gallant] was such an amazing coach. He brought a misfit team to the Stanley Cup playoffs and to the Stanley Cup Final. He was an All-Star that year, and the year after that he was going to be at All-Star again. It just caught everyone by surprise. But it just shows how unstable the hockey world can be." - Jonathan Marchessault
One old, one *less* old, both singing the praises of Gallant. For a team dire for a new identity and a sense of pride, there's no other choice for this than Gerard Gallant. Now, time for him to get to work.