2. Gerard Gallant
Gerard Gallant is the least experienced coach on this list with about nine seasons under his belt as a head coach in the NHL.
In those nine seasons, Gallant has coached three different teams and has been to a Stanley Cup Final with the Vegas Golden Knights in their inaugural season (2017-18), winning the Jack Adams Award for the best coach that season, as well.
Gallant started his head-coaching career in 2003-04 with the Columbus Blue Jackets. He would coach Columbus for parts of three seasons, until 2006-07, coaching 142 games with a record of 56-76-4-6. This earned Gallant 43 percent of the Jackets’ total possible points.
It wouldn’t be until seven seasons later when Gallant would receive another head coaching job when he became the head coach of the Florida Panthers in 2014-15.
In parts of three seasons with the Panthers, Gallant would coach 186 games, having a record of 96-65-25, good enough for 58.3 percent of the team’s total possible points. Gallant would also coach the Panthers to the playoffs in 2015-16, ending a three-season playoff drought.
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After being relieved of his coaching duties with Florida in 2016-17, Gallant was named the first head coach for the Vegas Golden Knights expansion team in 2017-18.
Gallant would coach Vegas for the better part of three seasons, coaching 213 games and bringing an expansion team to the playoffs in their first two seasons of existence. In those 213 games, Gallant’s Golden Knights had a record of 118-75-20, good enough for 60.1% of the team’s total possible points.
Gallant’s overall experience and record are 541 games coached with a record of 270-216-4-51 for 55 percent of his teams’ total possible points.
Although Gallant wasn’t very successful early in his coaching career, it seems as if he has figured it out to make fringe teams contenders.
I don’t think he’s a better coach than Babcock, however with his ethics not in question, he’s a better choice at the moment.
If the Sharks do decide to hire Gallant, it would be pretty funny, as San Jose and Vegas ultimately traded head coaches.