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Florida Fires Coach Gerard Gallant

Yesterday the Florida Panthers fired their head coach Gerard Gallant.  He was in his third year as Florida's coach.  Last year he was a nominee for the Jack Adams Trophy as coach of the year and only 22 games later he finds himself fired.  It's not as if the Panthers had done poorly this year.  Despite injuries they had a record of 12-12 with one regulation tie point.  There is a reasonable expectation that had they stayed the course they might be a playoff team.  After all, they are currently only 2 points behind the last playoff spot in the East Conference.

Florida is quickly becoming a poorly run franchise.  Vinny Viola the Florida Panthers owner has interfered in the running of the franchise.  Florida had a strong season last year winning the Atlantic Division.  Nevertheless the GM who built the team - Dale Tallon was pushed upstairs so that Viola's favored GM Tom Rowe could be brought in as GM.  Rowe has a questionable record for a GM, he is a longtime coach and assistant coach at levels below the NHL.  I assumed he would be Dale Tallon's puppet as Tallon phased into retirement.  It is clear now that he is management's puppet.  Tallon is a fall guy as Viola brings in people he can control. 

Rowe is going to serve as coach and general manager for the rest of the season.  He has been given enough rope that he can hang himself in the rest of the season.  Whether or not that matters to ownership is the question.

To be fair, Florida is a better team than their record shows so far this season.  Likely by doing nothing, they will improve.  Even if they make a bad coaching move their record may improve.

Florida shows themselves to be a poorly run franchise not only in the fact that they fired a good coach, hired an unproven GM and let him coach too, they show it in the way they fired Gallant.  Gallant was fired after last night's 3-2 loss in Carolina.  Gallant was abandoned by his team and had to find a taxi to leave the arena.  It isn't clear how he was expected to get back to Florida.

The Florida Panthers have shown us they are a dysfunctional team.  As a result they will likely underachieve this season.  They have given Tom Rowe enough rope to hang himself as coach and GM.  It isn't clear what the path out of this situation is, but it will likely require a new ownership regime.

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w2j2's avatar

I agree.
Successful teams start with owners who hire and support good management.
Good management treats their employees with generosity, dignity, and respect.
Ken Holland would never treat an employee like this, including the janitor.

Posted by w2j2 on 11/29/16 at 07:42 AM ET

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About The Puck Stops Here

imageThe Puck Stops Here was founded during the 2004/05 lockout as a place to rant about hockey. The original site contains over 1000 posts, some of which were also published on FoxSports.com.

Who am I? A diehard hockey fan.

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Email: y2kfhl@hotmail.com