After the New York Rangers were eliminated in the first round of the playoffs, the franchise and coach Gerard Gallant «mutually agreed to part ways,» the team announced Saturday.
Gallant just finished his sophomore year with the Rangers and leaves with a 99-46-19 regular season record. He led the Rangers to an Eastern Conference finals appearance last season.
But the Rangers’ performance in the 2023 Stanley Cup playoffs ended in disappointment. New York took a 2-0 series lead, but was unable to get past the rival New Jersey Devils.
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«I want to first thank Gerard for his work and commitment to the Rangers during his time as head coach,» Rangers general manager Chris Drury said in a statement.
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Drury added that Gallant’s departure would be mutually beneficial.
«After my evaluation of the season and discussions with Gerard, we came to the conclusion that a change would be mutually beneficial. I wish him and his family the best in the future. Our search for a new head coach will begin.» . immediately.»
Shortly after New York’s disappointing postseason run, there was discussion as to whether Gallant would continue as the team’s coach. Gallant’s contract was extended through the 2024-25 season.
The Rangers entered the playoffs with high hopes after trading for star wingers Patrick Kane and Vladimir Tarasenko in February. Both players head into the summer as unrestricted free agents.
On Wednesday, Gallant mentioned that he had not yet spoken to Drury about his employment situation.
«I’m coming here after what I think was a successful two years. We had a bad week and that cost us. If I can’t defend my record and what I’ve done, and not just my record here, I think there’s something wrong. I think it’s pretty good. But we’re in New York, and people put things there. And that’s okay,» Gallant told reporters.
«I can’t believe I have to answer some of these questions about how I got fired or fired, posed by the media. Disappointing.»
Gallant issued a statement saying that he believed the time was right to move on.
«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 discussions with my family and Chris, it became clear that this was the right decision for both me and myself. for the Rangers.» this time,» Gallant said in a statement.
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The Rangers have yet to announce any decisions on Gallant’s assistant coaches: Gord Murphy, Jim Midgley and Mike Kelly.