Rangers' Gerard Gallant 'can't believe' he's facing questions about his job security
As the Rangers head into the offseason, questions exist as to whether or not head coach Gerard Gallant will be back with the team for a third season.
The Rangers cleaned out their locker room on Wednesday, less than 48 hours after their Game 7 loss to the New Jersey Devils in the first round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs, and Gallant, as well as the players, had one last chance to speak with the media before officially starting their offseason.
Gallant was asked about his job status, and he pointed to his winning record with the Blueshirts and with other teams, saying he believes his resume speaks for itself. He also said that he hasn’t spoken to anyone in the organization about his job status.
“I’ve got no reason to think anything besides what people put out there. I read the same thing you guys [do], I see the same posts and all that, but nobody from this organization told me anything,” Gallant said. “I’m coming in here off what I think were two excellent years. We had one bad week and it cost us. If I can’t stand by my record, what I’ve done, then I think there’s something wrong.
“I think we have 108 points in two years, I think that’s excellent. We had a great first season and we lost to the defending champions in the semifinals. This year we lost in the first round. Did we have a tough two weeks? Yeah, but I can’t believe I have to answer some of these questions about me getting let go, getting fired, brought up by the media. Disappointing.”
In his first two seasons as head coach, Gallant has coached the Rangers to a 99-46-19 record. And while he led the team to an Eastern Conference Final appearance last season, falling to the Tampa Bay Lightning in six games, New York had an early playoff exit this time around despite once again having one of the most talented rosters in the conference.
“We’re disappointed. I thought we should have won the series overall,” Gallant said. “We had a great start to the series. We were prepared and did really good things, and then at the end of the day we lost in seven games, so disappointed. Every player was disappointed, but again, we lost to a real good hockey team that played well. ... Should we have won? In my opinion, yes, but it didn’t happen.”
“We all left pretty pissed off, so that’s not a good thing, but it’s a good thing for them to get ready for next year,” he later added. “The goal obviously is – we’ve got a group of players here, a talented group, and we always look at that window and there’s a good window here going forward. We’re still a young team, we’ve still got good young players. There’s still a window here and hopefully next year we’ll be better at the end.”