New Jersey Devils Now Have To Compete With Gerard Gallant

Canada's head coach Gerard Gallant (R). (Photo by Gints IVUSKANS / AFP) (Photo by GINTS IVUSKANS/AFP via Getty Images)
Canada's head coach Gerard Gallant (R). (Photo by Gints IVUSKANS / AFP) (Photo by GINTS IVUSKANS/AFP via Getty Images) /

Last offseason, the New Jersey Devils had a long-ranging search for a head coach. Every big name that was available was on their list. Peter Laviolette was the favorite for a while, but rumors say he wanted too much money. Alain Nasreddine was an in-house option after he got a lot more out of the roster than John Hynes did, but his similar system seemed like it was only going to look exactly the same. Gerard Gallant was the massive favorite amongst the fanbase. He was considered the best coaching free agent out there. He interviewed with the Devils, but apparently he asked for too much power. The Devils ended up hiring Lindy Ruff, which didn’t make anyone happy.

It’s even worse now after the New York Rangers hired Gallant on Monday according to Larry Brooks of the New York Post. The Rangers will replace David Quinn with a veteran on the bench who can get the most out of his roster. The Rangers were always going to go for a really good veteran coach after taking a chance on Quinn that failed horribly. The Devils could take solace that their Hudson River rival wasn’t getting the most out of its roster. That’s not the case anymore.

Nobody wants a young Rangers team that looks stacked with talent to have a coach the caliber of Gallant. This is before the rumors that the Rangers will go all-in on a Jack Eichel trade that’s inevitable at this point.

The New York Rangers made the right hire in Gerard Gallant, which is unfortunate for the New Jersey Devils.

This is still not the worst-case scenario. That was Rod Brind-Amour leaving the Carolina Hurricanes to go coach the Rangers. Barry Trotz is still the best coach in the conference, and Jon Cooper is not far behind.

dark. Next. 3 Trades To Make The Avalanche And Devils Better

There are flaws in Gallant’s coaching style like with most coaches, they are just few and far between. He had a really strange tenure with the Florida Panthers that ended with the strangest firing we’ve ever seen. Then, the Vegas Golden Knights replaced him with Peter DeBoer in the middle of last season. He never found the right opportunity until now, but it does make you think why nobody was willing to go the extra mile to hire him.

Gallant will have that extra motivation when he plays the Devils knowing they weren’t willing to give him what he wants. The Devils could have had Gallant as the team’s head coach. Instead, he’s the head coach of the team’s rival. This is bad news for the Devils, but fans need to hope it’s not the key to turning the Rangers into contenders.