The Florida Panthers fired head coach Gerard Gallant on Sunday after a loss to the Carolina Hurricanes dropped the team to 11-10-1 on the season.
General manager Tom Rowe has been named the interim coach.
allant was named head coach of the Panthers in 2014 and finished second to Barry Trotz in the Jack Adams Trophy voting last season after leading Florida to an Atlantic Division championship with 103 points. That was the most successful regular season in the history of the franchise. He lasted just 22 games into his third season as a Panthers team with high aspirations currently sits in 5th place in their division and two points out of the final wild card spot.
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The way things unfolded on Sunday were a bit bizarre. After falling to Carolina, Gallant spoke to the media following the game and was then told afterward that he had been fired. With Florida on its way to Chicago for a game against the Blackhawks on Tuesday, Gallant was left behind and forced to wait for a taxi to take him to the airport after the team departed.
The image of the Panthers firing Gerard Gallant and leaving him behind on the road is going to linger over that franchise for a while. pic.twitter.com/U7z6aJlLtF— Gord Miller (@🏠) (@GMillerTSN) November 28, 2016
The Panthers will now look to Rowe to lead them back into playoff contention.
Rowe was a Washington Capitals draft pick in 1976 and played 191 games for the Caps in his NHL career. He helped lead the Hurricanes to a Stanley Cup championship in 2006 as an assistant coach. He has also served as a head coach in the AHL, but left his position as head coach of the Portland Pirates in 2016 to become the associate general manager of the Panthers. He was promoted to general manager prior to this season.
Washington has won both meetings with the Panthers this season. The two teams will play again in the regular season finale on April 9.
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