Pro hockey coach Gerard “Turk” Gallant now has a hockey rink named after him.
The City of Summerside announced Tuesday it was naming one of Credit Union Place’s two ice rinks after the current coach of the New York Rangers, former NHL player, and hometown hero.
“Today is a special day. I’ve had a lot of things in my hockey career go the right way … This is special,” Gallant said at the unveiling of the arena.
Gallant, a Summerside native, played in the NHL for 11 years with the Detroit Red Wings and Tampa Bay Lightning before retiring from playing in 1995.
He then went on to a successful career behind the bench, head coaching the Florida Panthers to a division title in 2016, the Las Vegas Golden Knights to the Stanley Cup Finals in 2018 during their debut season, and Team Canada to gold in the 2021 IIHF World Hockey Championship.
In 2021, Gallant was named head coach of the New York Rangers and led them to the Conference Finals.
But his hockey career began in Summerside. As a youth, Gallant participated in the Summerside and Area Minor Hockey program before playing in the QMJHL and getting drafted by the Red Wings.
In 1997, he coached the Summerside Western Capitals to becoming the first Atlantic team to win the Canadian Junior A Hockey League Royal Bank Cup.
Kids can ‘dream big’
Tuesday’s announcement was “more than just putting a name on a facility,” said the City of Summerside in a release.
“The Gerard ‘Turk’ Gallant Arena is where kids in our community get their start in hockey, it’s where they learn to skate, it’s where friendships and lifelong memories are made. Now and for many years to come those kids can look up at a one of kind role model and truly ‘dream big.'”
“What I like most when I come back to Summerside, is I get treated the same way,” Gallant said.
City council has also passed a resolution on Monday to make Aug. 16 Gerard “Turk” Gallant Day.
The Gerard “Turk” Gallant Arena is adjacent to the Island Petroleum Energy Centre and is typically in use 10 months of the year.