President and GM Doug MacLean was forced to make the move after watching his team get off to a 5-9-1-0 start. Columbus has yet to qualify for the post-season since coming into existence in 2000. “Obviously we haven’t been performing as well as we would have liked this season,” said MacLean. “It’s a tough decision I had to make.
“It’s a sad day for me because Gerry and I go way back and he’s a good person. But hopefully we can turn things around now.”
The Blue Jackets are expected to name Gallant’s replacement on Tuesday.
Gallant was named head coach of the Jackets on June 25, 2004, after serving as interim head coach for the final 45 games of the 2003-04 season. He had a 56-76-10 record as head coach.
The native of Summerside, P.E.I., was with the Blue Jackets since their inception, spending three years as an assistant coach before getting the main job.
Optimism surrounded the Blue Jackets heading into the season after they acquired forwards Anson Carter and Fredrik Modin over the summer and convinced Nikolai Zherdev to return from Russia. The Blue Jackets were also looking forward to having a healthy Rick Nash back in the lineup.
But Columbus has so far failed to live up to expectations and appear headed for another season outside the playoffs.
“While there are always a multitude of factors involved, we felt a change was needed,” said MacLean.