“We are pleased to welcome Gerard as the new head coach of the Florida Panthers,” said Tallon. “He is an individual with tremendous character, integrity and a strong passion for the game and has experience as an NHL head coach. Gerard is an excellent teacher and motivator who possesses the leadership qualities and hockey knowledge that are necessary to lead our team.”
I'm just glad that the rumors are finished and someone was hired. It was said that Bylsma was offered the job, but turned it down as he likely wanted more money. He's already getting 2.3M this season from the Pens, so while he might have been the top choice, if he's being unreasonable, I can't blame the front office for moving on. Now, this can use the money that would have paid him on some better talent on the ice.
I'm looking forward to seeing how Gallant works with the young players. Huberdeau's probably happy as hell right now. As far as attracting free agents, I don't think hiring Gallant over Bylsma will be a large factor for free agents and I don't think we can use his experience with Columbus as a huge thought either with the crap team they had. I'd rather look at his stats being an assistant coach in Montreal and think maybe he can make an impact with us.
I just read the whole thread on the Montreal board. It's worth a read. Like thiavun said, it's kinda 50/50, but by and large they consider him a great player's coach and a great guy with good scheme/technical skills... much of the discussion over there seems to center on how much of and what he was actually responsible for. There's a lot of bashing of their PP, but they don't know for sure that that was Gallant. And seriously - could ours get any worse? This has got to be an upgrade.
You're overrating the importance of a coach to attract free agents. If our summer signings were contingent on hiring Bylsma... I think I might quit hockey.
I wouldn't say I was "overrating" it. I think it's pretty clear that both the manager and coach are pretty important in attracting free agents. It's not the only reason players sign with teams of course but it is still pretty important.