NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – November 28, 2016

by | Nov 28, 2016 | News, NHL | 12 comments

Former Florida Panthers coach Gerard Gallant awaits a taxi after being fired on Sunday in Carolina.

Former Florida Panthers coach Gerard Gallant (right) awaits a taxi after being fired on Sunday in Carolina.

Panthers fire Gerard Gallant. Details plus game recaps & more in your NHL morning coffee headlines.

SUN-SENTINEL.COM: Following last night’s 3-2 loss to the Carolina Hurricanes, the Florida Panthers fired head coach Gerard Gallant and assistant coach Mike Kelly. General manager Tom Rowe, who used to coach the Panthers’ AHL affiliate in Portland, will take over the coaching duties. After finishing first in the Atlantic Division in 2015-16, the Panthers were 11-10-1, sitting 10th in the Eastern Conference but only two points out of a playoff berth. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Gallant was a key reason the Panthers took the Atlantic last season and was a finalist for the Jack Adams Awards as NHL coach of the year. He didn’t suddenly turn into a bad coach this season.

While Gallant isn’t one for excuses, injuries to key players (Jonathan Huberdeau, Jussi Jokinen, Nick Bjugstad) was a significant factor behind the Panthers’ slow start. The club was also still adjusting to some notable offseason roster changes (Erik Gudbranson to Vancouver, replacing Brian Campbell with Keith Yandle).

In my opinion, the Panthers front office seized the first opportunity to replace a coach that they had inherited. Gallant wasn’t their guy. His firing is being greeted with widespread puzzlement and condemnation by the hockey media, leaving the Panthers players disappointed and unhappy. 

NHL.COM: Connor Hellebuyck turned in a 42-save shutout performance as the Winnipeg Jets blanked the Nashville Predators 3-0. The Preds were playing without James Neal, Ryan Ellis and Colton Sissons, who are missing the club’s current road trip because of injuries. 

Making his NHL debut, goaltender Anthony Stolarz made 29 saves as the Philadelphia Flyers defeated the Calgary Flames 5-3. 

Craig Anderson made 32 saves backstopping the Ottawa Senators to a 2-0 blanking of the New York Rangers. 

Tuukka Rask turned in a 30-saver effort and Jimmy Hayes scored his first of the season as the Boston Bruins downed the Tampa Bay Lightning 4-1. 

Jamie McGinn tallied the game winner to lift the Arizona Coyotes to a 2-1 victory over the Edmonton Oilers. 

NBC SPORTS:  Carolina Hurricanes center Jordan Staal suffered an upper-body injury during his club’s win yesterday over the Florida Panthers. No word yet on his condition. 

The Vancouver Canucks reportedly place defenseman Alexander Edler on injured reserve with a suspected hand injury. 

STLTODAY.COM: Blues winger Jaden Schwartz is on a hot streak, tallying 12 points in his last 10 games. 

NEW YORK POST: The addition of young players such as Mika Zibanejad (before his left injury), Jimmy Vesey and Pavel Buchnevich, plus veterans Michael Grabner and Brandon Pirri) are key factors behind the New York Rangers’ strong start. 

THE WASHINGTON POST: The Capitals’ once-vaunted power play is struggling this season. 


  1. Panther players needn’t worry. Rowe and his cohorts will soon be trotting out the full-colour charts and graphs to show minute-by-minute breakdowns of their first 22 games, thus convincing them that they should be sitting ahead of the Habs and Rangers.

    • Those charts and graphs will show the players how to play on the ice! Lol

  2. To me this firing of Gallant is absurd. The guy is a good coach in the league and his team has had a top line winger and two other core players injured. On top of it they replaced a top 4 shut down dman with a 5-6 offensive dman who in New York was known to be a liability in his own end.

    To me Lyle hit the nail on the head. This was an opportunity by management to clear out a coach that wasn’t their guy who was there when the switch over happened. Mind you, this switch over is one that I view as completely unnecessary. The panthers were on track with Tallon in charge and progressing very well. They won the Atlantic last year (I think they overachieved) and should have continued to be a playoff team with the roster they had. Instead they revamp the defence, change GMs.”if it ain’t broke don’t fix it” certainly applies here

    • Florida has enough talent & time to be a solid team. Removing Gallant was stupid but Florida was due to reverse the trend of play as players have been returning from injury & things have away of balancing out over time but not necessarily in the short term as addressed below Florida plays 5 games in the next 8 days all on the road & none are gimmes. A very odd time to make a coaching change.

  3. MY post on Dobber Ramblings Chat board this AM about Florida.

    “Florida is in some sort of internal upheaval. What does Tom Rowe have on Viola as obviously he has his ear. I had far more derogatory comments but libel & slanderous in nature. Florida has undergone significant change. 3 of the top 4 D were changed out, numerous significant injuries to Huberdeau; still, Bjugstad; just returned, Jokinen, missed 10 games & Petrovic; 6 games & counting.

    Is it Gallant’s fault Ekblad has looked brutal with out Campbell; he hadn’t yet earned the 7.5 mil per, 8 year contract extension Rowe just signed him to, or that Barkov & Jagr; Rowe just resigned for 5.515 on 1 year deal, & can’t score to save their lives or wasted money on Reimer. With Luongo being paid 4.533,333 for 6 more years, why sign Reimer for 5 at 3.4? Why not a cheap back up & that money being spent on help else where? Florida has the 3rd lowest payroll in the NHL by cap hit.

    Florida is showing laughing stock, gong show tendencies with Rowe at the helm. Looking at the schedule they have had some tough breaks & 5 of those 10 losses have come against NHL power houses TB, Pit, SJ & Was twice. I don’t know why the NHL schedule so so oddly congested this season but it is & appears to be so for everyone. The season only started 5 days later this year than last due to the WCH & is ending 1 day earlier. Yet games a far more condensed. It obviously has something to do with the built in 5 day shut downs each team is supposed to receive this season.

    Rowe has picked a very unusual time to remove Gallant. Florida just started a 6 game road trip & play 5 games in the next 8 days. Thankfully an east coast trip but no gimmes in those 5 games. This is Florida’s 2nd worst road trip of the season. The worst starting on February 11th in the Pacific with 5 games over 10 days playing the wests elite.

    Who’s running this gong show as there are a ton of weird decisions being made & many are questionable & not sound? All except 1 appear to be decisions made by Rowe. The player personal decisions. The make up of the team, trades made & players just signed by him this summer.

    I do question Gallant on why Reimer has had 8 starts to Luongo’s 14. That’s to many starts for Reimer. He should be at 6 tops. Florida has only played on 3 back to back occasions so far this season & Luongo has shown he plays better when playing a ton. Age is a factor but Luongo is showing no signs of father time as yet. Still an elite goalie option as his SV% shows. That heavy work load has Luongo posting solid #’s since returning to Florida.

    I don’t like the odds of this playing out well for Florida or Rowe. He may be 1 of the shortest lived GM’s in the NHL when this is over. If I’m Garth Snow I picked up the phone immediately last night & found Gallants cell # & was speaking to Rowe 1st thing this am to secure his contractual release from Florida.”

    Ding, ding. Would Dr. Parhar please report to psychology, Dr. Parhar we have an emergency in Florida. Ha-ha!

    • Nothing beats getting to read the exact same Striker book twice for those of you not privileged enough to read any other hockey blogs today. So many little nuggets of goodness so few hockey sites to post em on…Jeesh lol

      • Ha-ha!

        At least I didn’t have to retype it. It did correct the grammatical & spelling errors though. Ha-ha!

        Weird decision. I don’t see Gallant being unemployed long. Reminds me of when Boudreau was let go by Washington. Got snapped up immediately.

      • Ehh tough to say I see him wanting to be more a head coach than associate/assistant sure maybe if some one else is fired like Cap but I think it depends on the situation. One thought I had was a coach like this could be a solid candidate for an expansion team.

  4. Totally absurd. I hope it blow up in their faces.What is it with Rowe ? His ego must be huge to think he can replace Dale Tallon , now Gallant.
    He has destroyed a good team and ownership doesn’t seem to care.
    This is up there in the worst moves ever in hockey.

    • There is some scuttlebutt circulating that the driver behind allot of what is happening in Florida is Eric Joyce, Viloa’s son’s buddy & friend of the family…

  5. When I was a young kid I was at Joe Louis Arena watching the Penguins play the Red Wings. Gallant, who was the Wings alternate captain and a top 5 scorer, had the audacity to punch Mario. Kevin Stevens came out of nowhere and pummeled Galant and an all out brawl ensued. It definitely left an impression on me. Every time I see his name in print that is the first thing I think about.

    • I once say Larry Robinson ding Mario (86-87 I think) when he felt Lemieux was taking liberties with a smaller Hab. I don’t recall anyone on the Pens challenging Robinson.