Shortly after Thanksgiving of last year, the Florida Panthers relieved head coach Gerard Gallant, and their then, highly unqualified general manager, Tom Rowe, stepped in as interim head coach.
Fast forward to today, where Gallant has taken an expansion team and as of today, is coaching the best team in the Western Conference, with the second best overall record in the NHL.
Meanwhile, the Panthers are among the worst teams in the league and will be looking at a lottery selection as they have the 8th worst record in the league.
Not only is the disparity between the two teams a testament to Gallant's abilities as a head coach, but it also brings to attention that the Panthers firing Gerard Gallant may have been the most misguided coaching decision a hockey club has made in recent memory. And they made that call two months into a season after Gallant was named a finalist for the Jack Adams Trophy.
At the time of his firing, Pierre LeBrun wrote the following:
Fired Florida coach Gerard Gallant deserved better
Surely, this has to rank up there as one of the most misguided and ill informed coaching decisions in recent memory.