Hockeybuzz’s Bob Duff spoke with Red Wings senior VP Jimmy Devellano regarding Gerard Gallant, a.k.a. “Spuddy”:
The Vegas Golden Knights are up against it, down 3-1 to the Washington Capitals in the Stanley Cup final and left with no more losses to give. That, according to Jimmy Devellano, is when Gerard Gallant does his best work. The Golden Knights coach spent the first nine of his 11-season NHL playing career as a left winger with the Detroit Red Wings, most of it when Devellano was the club’s general manager. Gallant was a four-time 30-goal scorer, including during the 1988-89 season when he put up career-best 39-54-93 totals and teamed with Steve Yzerman and Paul MacLean to form the highest-scoring forward unit in franchise history.
That trio combined for 319 points, but what Devellano remembers most about Gallant was his compete level, the red-hot fire that burned in the belly of the undersized 5-10, 190 pound forward, and the ability to keep his head when all others around them were losing theirs.
“A character guy, a man’s man, but very simple,” Devellano explained. “I don’t mean that in a derogatory way, but I mean very basic, not complicated, easy to talk to and likewise he had no problem talking to you in a down to earth fashion. He became a favorite of mine because he was with us 8-9 years and we did have some success. He played well with Yzerman, the two of them fit like hand and glove. We went to the final four back to back years (1986-87, 1987-88) and he was a big part of all that.”