Panthers regroup after Gerard Gallant firing

Panthers regroup after Gerard Gallant firing

You always hear players, when asked about an opponent, say something like, “we can’t worry about them. We have to worry about ourselves.”

The Florida Panthers are feeling that to the ninth degree right now, considering the upheaval they faced last weekend.

When head coach Gerard Gallant was fired following the Panthers’ loss to the Carolina Hurricanes on Sunday night, it was a surprise to many. General manager Tom Rowe will serve as interim head coach, beginning tonight when the Panthers face the Blackhawks. Panthers players, speaking for the first time about it on Tuesday morning, said they’ll move forward.

“You have to take in stride, obviously, but we have to come together as a group and play well on the ice,” Keith Yandle said. “All of us liking [Gallant] as much as we did, it’s tough to see a guy go. It’s tough to see anyone go. But we know Tom’s going to come in and help us out and lead us to lots of victories.”

[SHOP: Gear up, Blackhawks fans!]

Rowe said he talked with the Panthers’ leadership group on Monday and had “a real good meeting” with the team on Tuesday. He wouldn’t talk about what was said in either meeting but said he was transparent with the Panthers.

“When you have professional athletes, if you don’t give them an explanation on why certain things happen it just shows a sign of ignorance,” Rowe said. “This is a tremendous locker room with really good people. They’re all good family guys and that’s how you have to operate. If you think you’re not going to communicate then you’re not going to last very long in this business. You won’t have success.”

Photos surfaced late Sunday night of Gallant waiting for a taxi outside of PNC Arena in Raleigh, N.C., following his dismissal. Rowe said those images are misleading.

“I know how it looked; didn’t look great. That was not how it went down,” Rowe said. “We’d been talking for 30-35 minutes, I actually ordered a car service to pick him up. It was bad how it all happened; it didn’t look good. But I’ll tell you right now we respect him, like him and Gerard and I had a good relationship. Did we agree on everything? No. Nobody ever agrees on everything. But we had good, honest discussions.”

Blackhawks Talk Podcast: An inside look at the Blackhawks Hockey Ops department with Senior VP Al MacIsaac

USA Today

Blackhawks Talk Podcast: An inside look at the Blackhawks Hockey Ops department with Senior VP Al MacIsaac

On the latest Blackhawks Talk Podcast, Pat Boyle catches up with Senior VP of Hockey Operations, Al MacIsaac. They discuss the process the Blackhawks took in transforming the roster this off-season. MacIsaac is entering his 20th year with the Blackhawks and talks about the organizational changes over the last two decades. He also weighs in on the role analytics plays in evaluating current or potential Blackhawks and he explains why the team made a commitment to make its new practice facility the “gold standard” of the NHL.

0:45 – MacIsaac on changes within the Blackhawks organization in the last 20 years

4:00 – How the Blackhawks have added great depth this summer

5:25 – A good problem to have with two good goaltenders

6:23 – How the hockey ops meeting went at the end of last season

8:45 – How much the Blackhawks use and rely on analytics

10:27 – The importance of the Blackhawks strength and conditioning programs

12:24 – The planning behind Fifth Third Arena’s development

14:40 – The dynamic between hockey ops and business ops

16:37 – Agreements and disagreements within the hockey ops group

18:32 – MacIsaac’s longtime relationship with Mark Bernard

20:27 – Looking ahead to training camp and the regular season

22:42 – Tough decisions will need to be made when the season starts

Listen here or in the embedded player below. 

Blackhawks Talk Podcast


Andrew Shaw on his career season in Montreal and adding toughness to Blackhawks

Andrew Shaw on his career season in Montreal and adding toughness to Blackhawks

Andrew Shaw had a terrific 2018-19 season with the Montreal Canadiens. He set a career high with 47 points (19 goals, 28 assists) despite missing 19 games due to injuries and averaged 15:55 of ice time, which was the highest of his NHL career.

When asked to explain why he believes he had the best offensive output of his career, Shaw pointed to one thing.

“Honestly I just think it was the hunger for the game," Shaw said in an interview with NBC Sports Chicago. "I missed nine months with knee surgery and concussions. I battled back to get back to where I needed to be and just started having fun again. Maybe I’m bigger, stronger, older. I think I’ve been in situations in games so many times that you’re better at reacting to them so I think that maybe that has a little bit to do with it.”

The Blackhawks reacquired Shaw because they've lacked some jam in their game over the past couple seasons. And looking at the other moves GM Stan Bowman has made this summer, it's clear that's an area they prioritized.

Shaw noticed it too and he's excited to see how it'll all come together this coming season.

“I still have to be me," Shaw said. "I still have to go out there and work and compete and bring the energy I’ve always brought. I think it’s the intensity and the love of the game that pushes me to do that so I think it’s something that others feed off of. With a couple other guys they brought in, too, we got a little bit more grit, a little bit more defensive game. I think it’s going to be a really good year.”

Check out the interview in the video above.

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