The Florida Panthers flew into Raleigh, North Carolina holding an 11-9-1 record, two points out of a playoff spot. They roared out to a 2-0 start, but fell 3-2 to a hot Carolina Hurricanes squad, now 6-3-1 in their last 10 games. Just minutes after he spoke the media post-game, head coach Gerard Gallant, along with assistant Mike Kelly, were fired. They were not allowed to fly to Chicago with the team and were left having to catch a cab.
There are many things wrong with this. First off, this is the guy who led this Panthers club to the top spot in the Atlantic Division just a season ago. He, along with Dale Tallon, are responsible for making hockey in southern Florida relevant for the first time since 1997. They created a team that brought fans into the BB&T Center. An 11-10-1 start the next season, however, warrants Gallant losing his job? That is a ridiculous assessment made by management.
What makes the move even worse is the timing of the decision. Gallant just returns from dealing with the media and is let go right before the team heads off to Chicago. He is then not allowed to travel with them and is left high and dry. It is a pretty classless move if you ask me. Current GM, Tom Rowe, will take over.