Vegas Golden Knights: Gerard Gallant Deserves Jack Adams Award

LAS VEGAS, NV - DECEMBER 14: Head coach Gerard Gallant of the Vegas Golden Knights handles bench duties behind (L-R) Jon Merrill
LAS VEGAS, NV - DECEMBER 14: Head coach Gerard Gallant of the Vegas Golden Knights handles bench duties behind (L-R) Jon Merrill /

We’re still early in the season, but Vegas Golden Knights Head Coach Gerard Gallant has been the best coach in hockey.

It’s no secret that the Vegas Golden Knights have been a wagon in their inaugural campaign. The team carries a record of 26-9-2 with 54 points heading into the new year. This Golden Knights squad is doing something every other expansion club has never done before.

Vegas is breaking records left and right with ease. Longest winning streak by an expansion team, the best start by an expansion team, and pretty soon they will be the best expansion team in NHL history. And that’s all thanks to Head Coach Gerard Gallant.

What makes Gallant so special is that he gets the most out of his players every night. Gallant’s coaching method basically revolves around hard work, never giving up on a play or puck battle and likes to have a fast north-south pace. All 20 players on the roster are buying into his style of play, and that’s huge for the team’s success.

Think about it, William Karlsson was never the type of player to lead a team in goals. And because of Gallant’s coaching and hard work mentality, Karlsson is a much better player than he was in Columbus. No one could’ve expected the type of production the Marsta, Sweden native is having because he was always on the bottom forward line for the Blue Jackets.

Karlsson just recently became the first player on the team to record 20 goals on the season. He also scored the first hat trick in Vegas Golden Knights history in a 6-3 win over the Maple Leafs.  The Head Coach isn’t afraid of giving more ice time to players who deserve it, and Karlsson is now the team’s first line center.

He coached Reilly Smith and Jonathan Marchessault for a little bit in Florida before the Panthers fired him. He saw that Smith could become a 200-foot player and play in all situations and gave the keys to Marchessault being a top-six forward.

With all three reunited again in Vegas, Smith and Marchessault are in for career years. Smith has registered nine goals, 21 assists and 30 points in 37 games played. And the Cap-Rouge, Quebec native is at a point per game pace. Marchessault has tallied 14 goals, 22 assists and 36 points in 34 games played.

Gallant also has faith in younger defensemen on the blue line for the Golden Knights. Nate Schmidt has been above and beyond for this hockey club with his ability to log over 22 minutes a night consistently. Shea Theodore gained a ton of trust since being recalled by the Golden Knights in early November. And coaching an offensive-minded player like Colin Miller is working wonders for Gallant also.

There are not many times at all when you shake your head at Gallant’s coaching decisions. In fact, he’s pushed all the right buttons and found the perfect line combinations for the Knights. And when someone does get injured, he’ll receive the most out of the player that goes in the lineup.

The Jack Adams award goes to the best coach in hockey over the regular season. There are other candidates out there that may get consideration for this award such as Jon Cooper of the Tampa Bay Lightning, John Stevens of the Los Angeles Kings, Bruce Cassidy of the Boston Bruins and John Hynes of the New Jersey Devils. But those coaches are all fighting for second in this award race; there’s no doubt Gallant already has this award won.

Next: Vegas Golden Knights: Shea Theodore Scores In Victory Over Former Club.

All in all, the Jack Adams is Gallant’s award to lose. It would take a couple of long losing streak to lose this award. No one expected the Vegas Golden Knights to sit in second place in the NHL on January 1st of the new year. Gallant should have this award signed, sealed, and delivered to his house right now.