Gerard Gallant

What Gerard Gallant said about Panarin/Zibanejad, Lafreniere and more

Gerard Gallant was on SiriusXM earlier today and said:

  • What do you do to get ready for the season, “To be honest, I haven’t talked to many players, I sent a text to Adam Fox to congratulate him on winning the award. Just watching some tape, I watched that team play a lot last year, they are a good, young talented hockey team, they have some real good veterans. Hopefully, we are ready to take a step. I look at that team and it’s a good opportunity for me to go in as a coach, but I think the team is ready to take a big step. Second half of the year last year they put a real good push on and fell a little at the end, looking forward to that team, to that group and we’ll get ready. I’ll get my coaching staff in place hopefully in the next week or so and get down to work and get ready for training camp.”

  • Will you go with an offensive style, “You gotta build on that, obviously, every coach wants an offensive hockey team that can put the puck in the back of the net and that’ll win you a lot of hockey games, but we all know what wins in the Stanley Cup and playoffs, it’s playing a 200-ft game and you need 23-players to buy into that, 23-players working hard. You watch games every night and see those guys scoring the big goals, the Goodrow’s, the Coleman’s scoring big goals for Tampa and the playoffs and Stanley Cup aren’t going to be about six guys on your hockey team, it’s going to be about 23, so you have to have them all buying in and competing hard without the puck. That is the biggest thing, you watch Tampa Bay and they work as hard without the puck as they do with it, so that is why they are a special team.”
  • Will you put Panarin and Zibanejad together, “I think we’ve got enough depth and enough good players that if they play really well together I got no issue with playing top players together. I think it’s going to take four good lines to be a competitive team, our division is real tough, real good teams in that division. If they work out good and play well together I’ve got no issue with that, if we’ve got to put them on separate lines, we’ve got enough good players around those players that you can put two top lines out there with no issue. We’ve got to keep going, our young players, the Kakko’s, Lafreniere’s, those real young kids and hopefully they will take another big step and that’ll make your hockey team a lot better.”
  • Do you think Adam Fox can play 29/30 minutes a night, “I hope our team is good enough that you don’t have to play a guy  30 minutes. Sure, everybody wants to play 28-29-30 minutes, but I think you gotta go beyond that, if he’s playing 23-24-25 minutes I think that is all kinds of minutes to play. It’s a long season, you don’t want to wear your guys out, he’s still a young player, and obviously a very good player, but I hope we’ve got the depth and good players that we don’t have to play 29-30 minutes a night.”
  • Are you a New York guy yet, “I haven’t been there, to be honest with you. I was there one day when I interviewed for the job and then I went to Latvia from there, so I haven’t been to NY. My wife is taking care of the rent, I know it’s a little more expensive than PEI right now (laughs).”
  • Will you live in the City or White Plains, “I’ll be in White Plains, trust me, about 5-7 minutes in White Plains from the practice arena and that will be perfect for me. I’m sure my wife will go to the City a lot more than I will and when season is over probably go down there for a weekend, but I’m not a big city guy.”
  • On Alexis Lafreniere’s best spot and the top six, “Definitely hoping for that and I don’t care, I’ll talk to the kid and see where he feels more comfortable playing and we’ll try to get him over there. Most of those kids now play the left side, the right side with no issues. Back in the day I was an LW and couldn’t play anywhere else, but the kids now are coming up and playing all over the place and I think that is a good thing, especially for him. You can put him with different lines and different people and try those kids out and give them the opportunity. I don’t think he has one spot where he wants to play, but like any other kid he wants to play a lot, that is all.”
  • On Shesterkin and the goalie plan, “We want to keep our players fresh and I think we’ve got two real good young goaltenders and everything Benoit Allaire’s told me about them, he said that we’ve got top young goaltending, they can take another step, they took a step last year. He’s expecting a lot from them, but it’s one game at a time for me, I’m not going to say one guy is going to play 55 and one guy is going to play 35, I don’t know what it’s going to be. To be honest with you, I like when my goalie coach takes me aside and says ‘here is your schedule, we’ll go by this day by day and I’ll let you know if one guy looks tired or needs time off and that is the way I like to do things. I like to give my coaches…to make decisions and if I don’t like something I’ll overrule it, but obviously, I like when we hire coaches and Benoit Allaire has been there a long time, he knows the goalies better than I do so I’ll lean on him for a lot.”