Sunday, March 16, 2014

Gerard Gallant: 7 Autographed Cards (Part 2)

                              (continued from the previous post)

And now two cards from Gerard Gallant's days with the Tampa Bay Lightning:
On the left, he is seen sitting on the bench, from Pinnacle Brands' 1993-94 Score (French Canadian edition, card #560, Gold variant); on the right, in a transition play, with a nice view of the Lightning's white (then-home) uniform, from Score's 1993-94 Pinnacle (card #404, French Canadian version).

Are you confused about the branding of the cards? Officially, the manufacturer was Pinnacle Brands, but for their first few years in the hockey market, their lone brand was Score, so they wrote on all cards and packs they were made by Score Inc. They introduced higher-end products in the early 1990s (Pinnacle and Select), which they decided would be best represented as part of a larger umbrella corporation, so they started to write Pinnacle Brands Inc. on their stuff from then on. Except on these sets, where they make it seem that each brands owns the next one; compare the brand at the bottom with the large logo on these cards:
At least it gives us an additional glimpse at his world-class mustache. Back then, Tampa Bay was a team where good veterans went to retire (kind of like the New York Rangers since the new millennium), with Gallant, Denis Savard, Pat Jablonski, Donald Dufresne, Paul Ysebaert, Daren Puppa and Rich Sutter all fading into obscurity after their stints with the team.

After his playing career, Gallant made the transition into coaching with the Columbus Blue Jackets (first as an assistant, then as head coach), then as an assistant with the New York Islanders.

Feeling more like a head coach than an assistant, he went down to the LHJMQ to coach the Saint John Sea Dogs, where he lost in the Finals in his first season and won the league's championship the next two, culminating with the Memorial Cup in 2011-12. His coaching record with Saint John was never below .800, going 53-12 the first year, 58-7 the next and 50-15 in his final season, after which he again agreed to be an assistant - under Michel Therrien with the Habs - which should be the  springboard to his next NHL head coaching job.

I could totally see him with the Carolina Hurricanes or New Jersey Devils...

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