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Report: Maple Leafs believed to have spoken to Gerard Gallant about head coaching job

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Joseph Zita
1 month ago
We’re a little over a week removed following Sheldon Keefe being relieved of his coaching duties, and the organization is still searching for their next bench boss.
Over the past couple of weeks, the coaching carousel has been in full effect. It’s not just Toronto who is looking for a new head coach. They join a list of teams who need to fill that position ahead of next season, joining the New Jersey Devils, Winnipeg Jets, Seattle Kraken, and San Jose Sharks. The Los Angeles Kings also don’t have a named head coach and are still with interim Jim Hiller, who replaced Todd McLellan late this season.
But when it comes to the Maple Leafs and who could replace Keefe as the franchise’s 32nd head coach, the two names we’ve been hearing out there from insiders have been Craig Berube, who recently coached the St. Louis Blues, and Todd McLellan, who spent the last three seasons with the Los Angeles Kings.
However, one name that has now popped up is Gerard Gallant, who reportedly didn’t meet with the Toronto Maple Leafs at the beginning of the week but has since been believed to have spoken with the organization, according to Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman on the latest episode of The 32 Thoughts Podcast when Jeff Marek asked Friedman what Gallant’s future in the NHL could look like.
“The best answer I can give you, Jeff, is that I believe he has spoken to Toronto. Now, you know my feelings on Toronto, which is until I’m told otherwise, I believe that Berube is their guy. And it’s just a matter of what is the process to get there. But I had heard that Gallant had spoken to the Maple Leafs and I would assume he’s spoken with some other teams as well.”
Gallant, 60, most recently coached the New York Rangers during the 2021-22 and 2022-23 seasons, making the playoffs both years and earning a trip to the Eastern Conference Finals in 2022, losing to the Tampa Bay Lightning. Before the Rangers, Gallant didn’t coach during the 2020-21 season after being fired by the Vegas Golden Knights following a three-year run with them, making the Stanley Cup Finals in their inaugural season and winning two division titles.
Over his entire coaching career, Gallant has coached four teams (Rangers, Golden Knights, Panthers, Blue Jackets) over parts of 11 seasons dating back to 2003-04. He has posted a record of 369-262-4-70 and a playoff record of 31-29.
It’s unknown how their meeting went, but one thing that is certain is all signs point to Craig Berube being the next head coach of the Toronto Maple Leafs, according to multiple insiders, who have reported the 58-year-old interviewing with the Maple Leafs on back-to-back days over the weekend.
One final name that hasn’t popped up as a head coach who has interviewed like the other candidates, but someone who has garnered some interest if he isn’t brought back is Rod Brind’Amour, who was eliminated from the Stanley Cup playoffs last night. Brind’Amour’s name has been out there as someone who teams could be calling Carolina to see what the situation there is. He needs a new contract, but after another heartbreaking playoff exit for the Hurricanes, along with 14 pending UFA and RFA’s that need a contract, could massive changes be coming in Carolina this offseason?

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