Sportsnet analyst Doug MacLean says that Gerard Gallant’s tenure as head coach of the Florida Panthers was never going to work.
MacLean spoke Monday on Sporstnet 590 The Fan’s The Jeff Blair Show a day after the Panthers fired Gallant and assistant coach Mike Kelly following a 3-2 loss to the Carolina Hurricanes.
“The analytics group have taken over the organization. They want to run it their way,” MacLean said. “Gerard, I think, was frustrated by some of the personnel changes that happened this summer and they went in the analytics direction, that’s the bottom line.”
Former Panthers GM Dale Tallon was promoted to president of hockey operations at the end of last season with Tom Rowe taking over the general manager duties. Rowe has been named interim head coach for the remainder of the season.
Gallant led Florida to a division title last season and was a finalist for the Jack Adams Award as the league’s coach of the year. The Panthers started this season 11-10-1 despite not having star forward Jonathan Huberdeau in the lineup due to injury.
“I’ve listened to more players say that it’s the best dressing room that they’ve ever been in,” MacLean said.
“I don’t think he had any chance to survive this year. I heard it in the fall that Tom Rowe would be the coach of the Florida Panthers before the season was over.”
Gallant signed a contract extension in January that would have kept him in Florida through the 2018-19 season.
MacLean says that he likes analytics but that he doesn’t buy the old school versus new school concept.
“If people get carried away thinking it’s the end all and be all, they’re going to be in trouble as a franchise,” MacLean said.
“But when you base every transaction and every trade and everything you do in your organization with it, you’re going to have major problems.”