Hockey World Blog

Florida Panthers Fire Coaches, GM Takes Over as Head Coach

In a shocking move, the Florida Panthers are the first team to terminate a head coach this season after Gerard Gallant was relieved of his duties on Sunday.

The Panthers also fired assistant coach Mike Kelly. Both coaches were spotted outside of PNC Arena in Raleigh after last night’s game with their bags packed while they waited for a Taxi.

The move comes at an interesting time as the Panthers are only 22 games into their season. Despite a shaky start and an 11-10-1 record, the Panthers are still very much in the hunt for a playoff spot in the Eastern Conference. It is rumored that Panthers management and Gallant did not see eye to eye on where the team was headed.

Firing Gallant not only surprised Panthers fans, but players have been caught off guard as well. According to TSN Insider Bob McKenzie on Twitter, the players are “disappointed/unhappy at Gallant being fired.” The same sentiments seem to be coming from fans as well.

Gallant will be replaced behind the bench by General Manager Tom Rowe. He has no experience as an NHL head coach, but served as an assistant with the Carolina Hurricanes from 2008-2011. Rowe does have head coaching experience in the AHL with the Albany River Rats and the Lowell Lock Monsters.

As for Gallant’s future, you can bet he will be on the short list for the Vegas Golden Knights as they look to add a head coach to their franchise in the not too distant future.

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