Gerard Gallant top prospects game

MONCTON, New Brunswick -- Gerard Gallant is enjoying time with his grandchildren but wouldn't mind another opportunity as an NHL coach.

"I think people know (I'm available)," Gallant said. "I'm only 60 years old. They know I want to coach again so if the opportunity comes up, I'd be happy to. We'll see where it goes. I have no idea what's going to happen, but I'm enjoying my time home with my family now.

"I get a chance to go to Florida a little bit and also see my grandkids, so I take a lot of good in what happened."

Gallant is here to serve as an honorary coach at the CHL/NHL Top Prospects Game on Wednesday (6:30 p.m. ET; TSN, RDS, NHLN), which features 40 of the top 2024 NHL Draft-eligible players from the Canadian Hockey League.

Gallant was fired as New York Rangers coach May 6, five days after they were eliminated by the New Jersey Devils in seven games in the Eastern Conference First Round.

Just like they did against the Tampa Bay Lightning in the conference final the previous season, the Rangers held a 2-0 lead in games against the Devils before losing the series. Against the Devils, the Rangers scored a total of two goals in the four losses.

In two seasons in New York, Gallant went 99-46-19 for a .662 points percentage, which was fifth-best in the NHL in that span.

He was a finalist for the Jack Adams Award as the top coach in the NHL in 2021-22, but only lasted two seasons.

"I'm waiting, I'm hoping, you know, if something comes up," Gallant said. "Obviously, I'd like to be coaching again in the National Hockey League but we'll see. I haven't talked to anybody, and I'm not waiting by the phone. If the phone rings, I'll be very happy, but I'm not sitting, waiting."

Gerard Gallant top prospects game 2

Gallant said he's been watching plenty of hockey on television.

"Whatever game is on that night, I'm sitting home, turning the TV on and I'm going to watch NHL hockey," he said. "I enjoy hockey as a fan; sometimes you do it as your job and looking for different stuff but when you watch the game, you're watching as a fan a lot of times."

Gallant was asked if he would consider a position as an NHL assistant coach. He is 369-262-70 with four ties in 705 regular-season games as a head coach with the Columbus Blue Jackets, Florida Panthers, Vegas Golden Knights and Rangers. He is 31-29 in the playoffs, including a run to the Stanley Cup Final with Vegas during its inaugural season in 2018, when he won the Jack Adams Award.

"I'm a head coach and I think I've done a pretty good job over the last 10 years, so if something comes up ... but you don't rule nothing out," Gallant said.

Gallant lives in Prince Edward Island and said he goes back and forth between there and Florida to spend time with his four grandkids.

"I wasn't great with my kids because I was playing at that time in the National Hockey League, so I didn't have a lot of time with them," Gallant said. "But it's a lot of fun with the grandkids, there's no doubt."

Gallant was assisting the Team Red coaching staff during practice and said it certainly brought back good memories.

"I've only had one day (of practice) but it doesn't look any different to me," Gallant said. "I mean, when I was coach in Saint John (of the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League), I had a lot of top-end prospects and we had a talented team for three years there. It was a lot of fun and to watch these kids out there in a 30-minute practice ... there's skill, there's talent and obviously they're the next NHL players.

"In a couple years' time, they're all going to be in the NHL. Probably not all of them, but a good portion of them will have an opportunity."

Who was the best junior hockey player he coached?

"Jonathan Huberdeau ... he was outstanding, obviously, and he was a 16-year-old kid when we had him for three years in Saint John," Gallant said. "He was an amazing player."