Gerard Gallant's wild coaching ride will take him to Latvia. Not permanently — but for a tournament.
Hockey Canada confirmed Wednesday that the NHL coach-for-hire will kick off some of the rust with the men's senior team at the 2021 World Championship in Riga next month.
World junior coach André Tourigny will follow as an assistant on a staff that will also feature Mike Kelly, who worked under Gallant in Vegas.
The crew will look to end a five-year, four-tournament drought for Canada, who haven't captured gold at the event since 2016.
For his brilliant work in the inaugural season in Vegas, Gallant's name comes up whenever any coaching position opens in the NHL. It seems very plausible that a job well done for Canada will convince the next team to pull the trigger on Gallant.
Gallant held down head coaching positions with the Florida Panthers and Columbus Blue Jackets before leading the Golden Knights to the Stanley Cup Final, and winning the Jack Adams Award, in the organization's inaugural 2017-18 season.
He was fired in his third season when Pete DeBoer became available following a successful run with the San Jose Sharks.
Former NHL greats Roberto Luongo and Shane Doan will select the roster, which will likely not be graced with quite as much talent as usual, given the NHL's timeline and considerations related to COVID-19.
That said, the tournament could be considered a tryout for some looking to earn their way into the conversation around Canada's 2022 Olympic team.
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