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Gerard Gallant newest Panther coach


yave1964
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Longtime NHler Gerard Gallant was tabbed as the newest coach of the Flordia Panthers today.

 

One of the key selling points for the hiring of the former coach of the Jackets and longtime NHL assistant is the fact that he was the coach of struggling third pick in the draft Jonathan Huberdeau in major juniors with the Saint John's Sea Dogs of the QMJL. It is hoped that the relationship between coach and player will spark Huberdeau and get him in gear. Gallant, a longtime tough guy with goal scoring prowess with my Wings (a personal favorite) has a reputation of doing very well with the kids. The Panthers actually have tons of solid young prospects and the hope is Gallant will get them together.

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If so, @yave1964 , about his reputation with development, then it is a good hire for the Panthers.

 

I think Florida is one of those teams that simply doesn't have a 'quick fix' solution to its competitive problems.

They show flashes of great play, followed by much mediocre play in between.

 

The team DOES show up to play night in, night out, cept, right now, they simply aren't very good at maintaining any consistency.

 

There is a difference between a team that is losing lots of games that  has many guys 'mailing it in' on a regular basis, and a team that loses lots of games, yet has young untapped potential within their ranks and in their minors system.....I think the Panthers fall in that second group.

 

So, if Mr. Gallant can get them playing consistent hockey while developing the younger players potential, AND have them continue to play good hard hockey like they have already, it probably won't be too long before Florida is on the competitive playoff map.

 

Also, they probably would want to shed away any 'dead weight' vets (sorry, but Tom Gilbert and Scott Gomez come to mind...), and just hang on to those few vets who CAN contribute either on the ice, or in the locker room, and set great examples to how games should continue to be played each and every night.

 

They already have one of the hardest parts to get covered (goal) in the form of outstanding veteran goalie Roberto Luongo.

Perhaps keeping Ed Jovanovski around would help the younger players, particularly defensemen, (i.e. Erik Gudbranson and Dmitri Kulikov), even though his own skills are a far cry from what they were, and then in turn signing the RIGHT free agent vets to mesh and help along the younger forwards, would be the way to go for this new coach and team.

 

And who knows...if the Lightning can stay competitive and the Panthers get competitive at the same time as the Lightning, then maybe there really CAN be a rivalry in the state of Florida in hockey...and not just some made up schtick manufactured by the media simply because both teams reside in the state...  ;)

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So, if Mr. Gallant can get them playing consistent hockey while developing the younger players potential, AND have them continue to play good hard hockey like they have already, it probably won't be too long before Florida is on the competitive playoff map.

 

Well, they do have a new (old) goalie. :-)

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@yave1964  I always liked Gallant's game, he was very underrated and a terrific example of work ethic and getting the most out of your skill set. I like this move by Florida. This move has the leadership of Dale Tallon written all over it. Huberdeau is obviously a huge cornerstone for the Panthers. They very badly need him to be the star they projected. If landing Gallant gives them the inside track on getting through to him, it's a stroke of genius. There were times last year when Huberdeau looked lost, and he was gliding though some of his games. The talent is obviously there, but he badly needs a positive mentor like Gallant. Personally, I think Barkov will be a much better player, but that is a story for another thread.

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Here is an article from NHL.com, where it is mentioned Gallant believes the Panthers are not too far off from contenders....and you know what? He could be right...

 

http://www.nhl.com/ice/news.htm?id=723474&navid=nhl:topheads

 

Let's not forget that it wasn't too long ago that the Panthers won their division, albeit, it was the mediocre South East, but still, they beat out teams like the Caps, Lightning, and Jets at the time in that division by out playing those guys....and that doesn't look to change anytime soon (the outplaying teams part).

 

Difference now, as opposed to then is, the team has more actual talent on the roster AND that talent has better room for growth. Everything from the forward lines, the defense, and of course, in goal.

 

All the Cats need to do is shed make smart signings while their core develops, continue their philosophy of "we ALWAYS got a chance to win".

I've watched enough Panther games the last two seasons to know that these guys do NOT mail it in, do NOT take shifts off, and do NOT believe they should roll over for anyone in the league.

 

Sure, they lost lots of games, but that is because on most nights, despite their work ethic, they were simply outclassed in the talent department.

That is looking to change, and I think it's something new head coach Gerard Gallant sees as well.

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