Panthers should hire Gallant

Joe MacIntyre
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Summerside native on short list of candidates

Is Summerside native Gerard Gallant the next head coach of the NHL's Florida Panthers?

Some strong local rumours would suggest so, but we do know that he is on a very short list. The Panthers are expected to announce their choice on Monday, and there is little doubt that Gallant should be a front-runner for the job.

It is hard to argue the success Gallant has enjoyed behind the bench in recent years, especially at the junior level. He has done a tremendous job as an assistant with the Montreal Canadiens over the last two seasons, and one cannot underestimate his huge contribution to the resurgence of the Canadiens.

Gallant’s coaching style is conducive to success and, combined with that valuable experience of coaching in Montreal, makes him a top candidate for any head coaching job.

Gallant coached and won a Memorial Cup with rising Panther star Jonathan Huberdeau in Saint John, and one would think that may be in Gallant's favour. Having previous NHL experience in Columbus and New York will also help, and Gallant knows how to win. Winning is what the Panthers need to do a lot more of, and there is no doubt in my mind they will do more of that with Gallant behind the bench.  

Charlottetown Islanders

The Charlottetown Islanders are off to a pretty good start in the New Brunswick Senior Baseball League (NBSBL), and are sitting in second place in the six-team league.

Five wins and six losses is pretty respectable in the always-tough league, and the Islanders are doing it without one of the league's best players as shortstop Andrew MacDonald is out until at least late summer after undergoing knee surgery.

The Islanders will take their show on the road to Summerside for a game against the Moncton Mets on Saturday at Queen Elizabeth Park’s Legends Field. Game time is 7 p.m.

Hopefully a kind weatherman and a good crowd will combine for a great evening of baseball for the Islanders. This is the best level of baseball in our region, and fans may want to take in the game. 

Slow games

A common complaint amongst casual baseball fans is that games are too long. They do have a good point as the rules do need to be tightened up in a couple of areas.

A Tampa Bay Rays’s game takes on average three hours and 17 minutes to play – tops in the majors. The Yankees, Red Sox, White Sox and Tigers follow the Rays closely.

Interestingly enough, they are all American League teams. There are 17 television breaks in a nine-inning game, which equates to 34-to-40 minutes of air time.

Pitchers taking too long between pitches slows down the game. The rule says that a pitcher has 12 seconds between pitches. A batter is supposed to have at least one foot in the batter's box at all times. These pitching and hitting rules are never enforced, but should be.

The replays also contribute to a longer game, with each one taking on average about two minutes. It is still a great game for those who love it, but certainly there is room for improvement in speeding contests up.

Highest-paid athletes

Forbes magazine has released the list of the top-five highest-paid athletes over the last 12 months. Boxer Floyd Mayweather leads the list, hauling in a cool $105 million for only 72 minutes spent in the ring.

Soccer player Cristiano Ronaldo is second at $80 million, followed by NBA player LeBron James at $72.3 million, Lionel Messi $64.7 million and Kobe Bryant at $61.5 million.

Golfer Tiger Woods made $61.2 million, with $55 million coming from endorsements.  

Stanley Cup playoffs

There is a good chance that the Los Angeles Kings have won, or will win, the Stanley Cup, and that is what most predicted. The Western Conference has the superior teams in the NHL, and there is little doubt that Chicago, Anaheim and others would have enjoyed the same success as the Kings.

It was a great two months of hockey, but that is enough – it is ball season!

Flashback

It was 20 years ago on June 14, 1994,  that the New York Rangers won the Stanley Cup.

The win ended a 54-year drought dating back to 1940.

The Rangers beat the Vancouver Canucks 3-2 in Game 7, and Rangers defenceman Brian Leetch won the Conn Smythe Trophy as playoff most valuable player.

Have a great couple of weeks!

Joe MacIntyre is a Summerside resident. His column appears every second Saturday. Comments and suggestions can be sent to j-mac@eastlink.ca.

Organizations: Panthers, Islanders, NHL New Brunswick Senior Baseball League Montreal Canadiens Los Angeles Kings Yankees Red Sox White Sox American League New York Rangers Vancouver Canucks 3

Geographic location: Summerside, Montreal, Saint John Columbus New York Charlottetown Queen Elizabeth Park Chicago Anaheim

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