NY Rangers bringing in Gerard Gallant guys only a good move

NY Rangers (Photo by Derek Leung/Getty Images)
NY Rangers (Photo by Derek Leung/Getty Images) /

If there was one trend to emerge from the NY Rangers‘ activity in the opening days of NHL Free Agency, it was the desire to recruit players who shared a previous relationship with head coach Gerard Gallant.

First, there was Vincent Trocheck, who very quickly became the marquee addition for the Blueshirts after signing a seven-year, $39,370,000 contract in the opening hours of the first day of free agency.

Then, in what was very much an under-the-radar signing, the Rangers gave a one-year, $750,000 contract to veteran forward Ryan Carpenter, who will fill the void left by Kevin Rooney as the team’s fourth line center.

Things are being set up nicely for Gerard Gallant and the NY Rangers

While Trocheck and Carpenter will have different expectations hoisted upon them in very different roles, they do share one big similarity. And that’s the fact that both have played under Gallant before, and both have thrived under the Rangers’ bench boss.

Trocheck’s last great season before 2021-22 happened to come in 2017-18 for the Florida Panthers, where he recorded 75 points (31 G, 44 A) in 82 games. That kind of return in 2022-23 would be a home run for the Rangers.

Carpenter too has also thrived under the guidance of Gallant, carving out a career year in 2018-19 while with the Vegas Golden Knights with 18 points (5 G, 13 A) in 68 games. He also recorded a career-high 52.6 winning percentage in the faceoff circle that season along with 126 hits.

The fact that both players have spoken highly of their prior experiences with Gallant can only be viewed in a positive light, and the fact that both Trocheck and Carpenter were keen to reunite with the Head Coach demonstrates the Head Coach’s ability to connect with his players.

Trocheck and Carpenter are very much Gallant players too. They fit the bill in terms of what the veteran coach tries to achieve with his teams from a system perspective. Trocheck and Carpenter play a hard-nosed, gritty 200-foot game and they do all the basics to a very high level. They win faceoffs, they finish their checks, they go after every puck, they are responsible in their own zone and they are team players.

After an impressive debut season behind the bench in New York, Gallant will be looking to get more out of his team as they move fully into a win-now window. As such, having players in the locker room who have thrived under him previously can only be a good thing for the rest of the team.

Trocheck and Carpenter clearly can’t wait to play for Gallant again given the success they enjoyed together previously, and that should only rub off on and inspire the rest of the locker room. Plus, if the pair can rediscover the peak of their powers under Gallant, then that will only benefit the Rangers.

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It is never a bad thing to give a head coach players he knows and trust to get the job done well, and General Manager Chris Drury has done a good job of giving Gallant quality ingredients that he knows he can cook up in a storm. Because he’s done it with those same ingredients before.