Gallant out as Rangers manager, no replacement named

Gerard Gallant is out as New York Rangers coach after two seasons.

The Rangers said Saturday they had “mutually agreed to part ways” after losing in the first round of the Stanley Cup playoffs earlier this week.

No replacement has been named.

New York, which was 47-22-13 in the regular season, lost 4-0 to the New Jersey Devils in Game 7 of the Eastern Conference first round at Prudential Center on Monday. They had a 2-0 lead in the best-of-7 series, but lost four of the next five games, scoring two goals in four losses.

“I would first like to thank Gerard for his hard work and commitment to Rangers when he was head coach,” Rangers chairman and chief executive Chris Drury said on Saturday. “I have tremendous respect for Gerard as a coach and a person and really appreciate everything he has done for us on and off the ice over the past two seasons. After my assessment of the season and discussions with Gerard , we have mutually come to the conclusion that a change would be beneficial for both parties. I wish him and his family all the best for the future. Our search for a new head coach will begin right away .

The decision to let Gallant go comes after the Rangers went all-in before the 2023 NHL trade deadline, acquiring forwards Vladimir Tarasenko, Patrick Kane And Tyler Motteand defender Niko Mikkola hoping to win the Stanley Cup this season.

They reached the Eastern Conference Finals last season, Gallant’s first behind the New York bench, and entered this season with higher expectations that were raised before the deadline due to trade acquisitions. , especially Tarasenko and Kane.

The Rangers started slow, posting an 11-10-5 record through Dec. 3. They went 36-12-8 in their last 56 games to finish third in the Metropolitan Division. They went 22-4-3 in a 29-game streak from December 5 through February. 17.

The Rangers acquired Tarasenko and Mikkola from the St. Louis Blues on Feb. 9, Motte from the Ottawa Senators on Feb. 19 and Kane in a three-way trade with the Chicago Blackhawks and Arizona Coyotes on Feb. 28.

But they couldn’t get past the first round after winning games 1 and 2 by identical scores of 5-1 at the Prudential Center. They lost Games 3 and 4 at Madison Square Garden, 2-1 in overtime and 3-1, respectively.

Gallant heavily criticized the team after Game 4, twice calling them lazy, but Rangers were unresponsive in Game 5 at the Prudential Center, losing 4-0. They forced a Game 7 by winning 5-2 in Game 6 at Madison Square Garden, but were then shut out again in Game 7.

“I want to thank [owner James] Dolan, Chris and the Rangers organization for giving me the opportunity to be their head coach for the past two seasons,” said Gallant. “The experience of coaching an Original Six franchise with such a rich history and an incredibly passionate fan base is something I will never forget. . After conversations with my family and Chris, it became clear that this was the right decision for me and Rangers at this time.”

In two seasons under Gallant, the Rangers went 99-46-19 for a 0.662 point percentage. At that time, they were fifth in the NHL in points percentage and tied for sixth in wins with the Edmonton Oilers and Minnesota Wild.

Gallant was a finalist for the Jack Adams Award as the NHL’s top coach last season.

The Rangers were 13-14 in the playoffs under Gallant, but had a 2-0 lead in each of their last two series – against the Tampa Bay Lightning in the Eastern Conference Finals of the season. last and against the Devils in the first round this season. – and won neither series.

“I think we averaged 108 points in two years, I think that was great,” Gallant said when Rangers held their end-of-season availability. “We had a great first season, we lost to the defending Stanley Cup champions in the semi-finals. This year we lost in the first round. Did I have a tough two weeks? Did we have a tough two weeks difficult? Yeah.

“But other than that, I can’t believe I have to answer some of these questions about whether I’m fired or fired, raised by the media. Disappointing. … If I can’t stick to my case and that I did, I think there’s something wrong.”

Gallant has a career coaching record of 369-262-70 (with four ties) in 705 regular season games with the Columbus Blue Jackets, Florida Panthers, Vegas Golden Knights and Rangers since 2003 -04. His teams are 31-29 in the playoffs, including a run to the Stanley Cup Finals with Vegas in 2018, when they lost to the Washington Capitals in five games. Gallant won the Jack Adams that season.

Gallant is the fifth coach to be fired since the end of the regular season, following Daryl Sutter (Calgary Flames), Dallas Eakins (Anaheim Ducks), Peter Laviolette (Washington Capitals) and Brad Larsen (Columbus Blue Jackets).

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