Gerard Gallant

What Chris Drury and Gerard Gallant said on Tuesday

Chris Drury and Gerard Gallant held a press conference on Tuesday and said (NYR):

Chris Drury Intro: “I’m very excited to formally introduce and welcome Gerard Gallant to the New York Rangers. I’m very excited to have him on board as our next head coach. At the start of this process, I was looking to find a coach who had a proven track record and success at several levels, Turk checked all of these boxes. He’s a Jack Adams Award winner and had deep playoff runs, he guided two organizations to division championships, won at the Major Junior level, and most recently at the International level. We are very fortunate to have him and excited for what is to come with him as the next Rangers head coach..”


Gerard Gallant Intro: “Thank’s Chris, I’m very fortunate to get this opportunity. I’d like to thank Jim and Chris for the opportunity to be the next Rangers head coach, a very exciting time for me and my family, and looking forward to getting to NY, getting settled, getting my staff together, and getting right down to work. An exciting time for me and my family, an honor to be able to coach the Rangers, and really looking forward to it.”

GG on the roster: “I think they’ve got a real good lineup, when you look at the team and see the young players and veteran talent, they are a team ready to take another step and I’m just going off the teams I coached in the past, Florida and Vegas and you put your system in place, get the team ready to play, you start at 7-o-clock, you start at 7-o-clock, you have 82 games to play and be ready for every one. We are going to see what happens, I’m not gonna worry about what happened in the past with the team, we are turning the page, moving forward and when I look at the roster and had the opportunity to be named the head coach, I was really excited to see our roster. I know we are going to take a big step and hopefully, it’s a real big step. We will see what happens once training camp starts, but one thing is we got an excellent roster and will get down to work right away and make it the best it can be.”

GG on if the Rangers can play like Vegas’ style, “definitely. When I was in Vegas, and I hate talking about the past, we went to training camp with a plan, put our system in place, and expected everyone to play a 200-ft game, everybody good defensively, offensively, have a role on the hockey team. That is what is important to me, it’s not gonna take 15-guys to win, it’s going to take 23-guys on the roster to win every night. We try and make every player important on our hockey team, everyone has a role to play and that is what we expect, that is what the expectation is going to be.”

Drury on how Gallant fits his vision for the team, “I think it’s an exciting time for the organization. He has a lot of experience, some deep playoff runs, he captures whatever room he walks into. Excited to see what he’s going to do with our group and I know our players are excited for training camp.”

Drury on why he moved on from David Quinn, “I just think it was time for a new voice, new coach, new leadership in the room and very confident that Gerard is the person for that job.”

Drury on if the roster is constructed for the playoffs, “It’s hard not to watch these playoffs, the physicality, energy, effort, intensity that it takes to win and succeed and we are certainly going to have to play that way to have success in the regular season and in the playoffs. We are always looking at ways to improve the lineup and add different pieces and we all want players that are harder to play against and we are no different.”

GG on the World Championships, “When I got the opportunity when Hockey Canada called me with the opportunity to be the head coach of that team it didn’t take that long for me to say yes, even though some people said that it could only hurt you getting a chance for an NHL job, I think it was a great opportunity and I wanted to get back in and start coaching some games and go through a bit of a training camp with some new players, it definitely helped me to get those 10 games under my belt. I was out for 16-months and not coaching. I had the itch again, got back in it, everything went perfect after the first week, obviously, but it was a lot of fun, and really enjoyed it. Team Canad treated us, first-class, it was my fourth opportunity to be with Team Canada and it was a great experience for me, for a personal thing it was great for me to get back in and get those 10 games.”

GG on him being fired after success in FLA and Vegas, “I still have a hard time going back and looking at it and saying why did I get fired? I think I did a great job in both of those organizations, things happen, it’s out of my hands. I come to the rink every day with a smile on my face, I got a great job, great opportunities and you work hard and do the best you can. I don’t put a lot of thought into being fired, you try to move on as quick as possible, that helps, but I’m not going to live in the past, I’m gonna move forward and look for my next opportunity with the Rangers, great team, great opportunity, looking forward to that.”

GG on who he is excited about coaching, “I got 23-players that are going to be on our roster and expecting them all to be good players and they are all different players, all play different styles, but I want 23-guys who know what their jobs are and their responsibility on the ice and that makes a good hockey team.”

GG on what he wants the identity of the team to be, “I want it to be the hardest working team in the league, to compete hard, battle hard and make teams say that that team works hard every night and competes for 60-minutes and that is why they are winning hockey games every night. We can be skilled, can be talented, but if the work doesn’t come first the skill and talent doesn’t get far down the road. I want to make sure we are working hard every night and competing hard every night.”

Drury on what is next, “We continue to move forward and fill the holes that are left, probably first and foremost work with Gerard and help him figure out his coaching staff. I’m going to need to find some help in the front office as well, maybe some scouting positions, assistant GM things like that, I’m working away at it and when the time is right we will let everybody know.”

GG on his priorities for training camp with a new team, “Obviously the immediate priorities are going to be us getting a coaching staff in the next little while, hoping that won’t take too long and then get ready for training camp and we have lots of time this summer to get our videos ready and our prep for the players come training camp in the middle of September. We will get ready for camp, have a hard camp, get ready for the regular season, but putting together a coaching staff is going to be really important to us and when we get that done we can move forward.”

GG on the challenge of this job compared to his other jobs, “I don’t see it any differently. I’m coming to a place with a team ready to take off and go to the next level and I’ll prepare the same way, the same things I’ve done in the past, I’m very comfortable with what happened in the past six years, with Florida and Vegas and bring that forward to the Rangers and get to know the players and personnel and that will be important and I think that is one of my strong points.”

GG on if adding physicality is needed, “There is no doubt about it. I had nothing to do with the New York Rangers when I watched that game against the Washington Capitals and they stood up for themselves. Like I said to somebody before, I watched that game from home and after the incident they had the next game and the 5-on-5 brawl and I think the players set a standard right there that they are proud of this team, proud of the guys and going to step up and take care of that stuff. Anytime you get an opportunity like that, leadership like that from your team goes a long way with your players and I had nothing to do with any organization at that time and I felt it was an important step for the Rangers to take that night.”

GG on coaching at MSG, “I loved coming there as a player, as a coach it’s a bit intimidating place to come into, but I enjoy it, its’ a great place to be, a great atmosphere there and if you can’t get up and get ready to play games in that building there is something wrong. I think it’s a lot of fun, the atmosphere will be unbelievable and it will be fun to be on the home team bench going into that building.”

Drury on if it’s important to have a captain, “I think if we can keep moving this thing forward a big piece of that for me is getting a captain. For me it’s a priority, but at the end of the day it’s gotta be the right person. I’m not interested in giving it to somebody just to say we have a captain, but I think we have a lot of leaders in our room and leaders that have taken big steps in the last couple of years including the second half of last season. Looking forward to talking to Gerard further about it, we talked about it a little in the interview process and see how it shakes out this summer heading into training camp.”

GG on young players, “You give them the opportunity and hopefully they take advantage of the opportunity and ice time that they get. I don’t think young players can sit on the fourth line and get a lot out of that, young players with a lot of talent deserve first, second, third line. You’ve got to give them an opportunity to play and we know we have some very talented young hockey players on our team, they are going to get every opportunity to play. They’ve gotta fit in with our program, make sure they are playing every night and deserving of ice time. I look at our lineup and see a talented hockey team. It’s a fine line for coaches, you want to develop players but you also want to win every night. That’s where we’re at right now so we’re going to try to win a hockey game and hope that those young players are going to be part of our team winning hockey games every night.”

GG do you welcome the pressure of coaching in NY, “I’m looking forward to it. We’ve got an opportunity, a good team, a good lineup. I’m really looking forward to it. When I first talked to Chris about the opportunity, the job, I felt really good leaving the interview, real comfortable with Chris and said to my ‘I hope this works out’ because New York would be a great spot to go, it’s a high market team but a good hockey team. I’m really excited because the main thing is we have a hell of a hockey team and if we move forward we can be a good team for a long time if we do the right things and play the right way.”

Drury on if playoffs are the expectation next season, “I think you saw from the exit interviews, exit meeting interviews that my goal and our hope is that we are a playoff team next year. Is it a mandate? I don’t believe so, but I want everyone to come back and know that is where we want to be and with the talent on this team where we should be. I’m looking forward to seeing the guys when they start to trickle back for training camp and getting set for a real good season.”

GG on Lafreniere and Kakko, “Both young talented players, I’ve seen a lot of them on TV the last year and a half. When you aren’t coaching you get to watch games, high-end talent, high-end skill and lets take it to the next level. They both have to work hard, both have to compete hard and try to get better every day. There is not going to be any pressure applied to those kids, but do your job and get better everyday and that is what I’ve seen when I was in Florida, Barkov, Ekblad, Huberdeau and those type of kids, they need the opportunity to take advantage of it and take a step, you can’t rush them too much, but you give them the opportunity to take their steps and when they deserve more you give them more.”

Drury on why Gallant over other experienced coaches, “I’m not getting into who I did or didn’t talk to, Gerard was a guy that I targeted right from day one, was fortunate enough to get him in before he had to go to Latvia for the World Championships. At the end of the day he was a perfect fit for what we are trying to accomplish here, to move this team and organization forward.”

GG on how quickly he wants to get a staff in place, “We are talking to a lot of people right now, no decisions right now. I’d like to see it happen within a couple of weeks, but we will take our team and get the right people in. We are talking to a lot of people right now and moving forward. Mike Kelly has been around a long time with my staff, we will see where that goes, but there is nothing done with anybody yet and we are just talking to guys and interviewing.”