Gerard Gallant has agreed to be the next coach of the New York Rangers, a team source said Monday.
Gallant replaces David Quinn, who was fired May 12 after the Rangers (27-23-6) finished fifth in the eight-team MassMutual East Division and failed to qualify for the Stanley Cup Playoffs.
As coach of the Vegas Golden Knights in 2017-18, their inaugural season, Gallant guided them to the Stanley Cup Final when they lost to the Washington Capitals in five games. He won the Jack Adams Award as NHL coach of the year that season.
The 57-year-old is 270-216-51 with four ties in 541 NHL games for the Columbus Blue Jackets, Florida Panthers and Golden Knights. He was fired by Vegas on Jan. 15, 2020, after going 118-75-20 in three seasons.
“Obviously, it’s been 16 months. I’m waiting for the next opportunity and I hope it comes soon,” Gallant told The Athletic on June 7. “Not sure what’s it going to be. I’m having conversations with some teams and hopefully something happens.”
Gallant coached Canada to a first-place finish at the 2021 IIHF World Championship after it lost the first three games to Latvia, Germany and the United States, and clinched fourth in Group B when Germany defeated Latvia in regulation. Canada defeated Finland 3-2 on Nick Paul‘s goal at 6:26 of overtime in the championship game.
“It was just great for me personally to get behind the bench again and to be able to win a gold medal with Team Canada makes it that much more special,” Gallant said. “Just a lot of fun.”
Gallant is 18-15 in 33 NHL playoff games.
“There’s nothing he asks his players to do that he wouldn’t have done himself,” Lightning coach Jon Cooper said of Gallant. “He demands from his players but he delivers a message that you really want to go out there and play for him. … He’s simple in his approach but extremely effective. He was awesome to have on the staff (when Cooper coached Canada at the 2017 World Championship). I remember that year, I waited for him. Ironically, he was in between jobs back then too and he ended up getting the Vegas job. There’s a reason the teams he coaches win because he gets the plan, puts it in place, communicates it and then drives the guys. I loved having him on the staff.”
Quinn was 96-87-25 in 208 games in three seasons with the Rangers. New York was part of the NHL Return to Play Plan last season and was swept in three games by the Carolina Hurricanes in the Stanley Cup Qualifiers. The Rangers did not make the playoffs in 2018-19, Quinn’s first season.
The Arizona Coyotes and Seattle Kraken are the remaining two NHL teams without a coach.
NHL.com senior writer Dan Rosen contributed to this report