Wendell Cruz | USA TODAY Sports

Gerard Gallant was livid anyone would dare speculate about his future as Rangers coach. But, it turns out, there is good reason to do so.

First: Sportsnet reported Gallant and general manager Chris Drury had a heated confrontation after the Blueshirts’ Game 4 loss to the Devils (we have been unable to locate the initial Elliotte Friedman report; if you have it send it over).

Second: The Athletic confirmed Friedman’s report and added this:

Gallant’s been on the hot seat since the Rangers were eliminated and even a bit before this postseason. … Here’s what we can say right now: Gallant was not in player exit meetings on Wednesday, they were conducted by Drury alone. Though, as Gallant pointed out, that was also the case after last season’s run to the Eastern Conference final, a year in which Gallant was nominated for the Jack Adams award. And Gallant addressing reporters after the players spoke is not usually the act of a coach who may be on the way out.

However, this may not be a usual summer if the Rangers are looking to make a change. It’s not believed that Drury has any appetite to dump Gallant for any other coach, unless something unexpected happens in Pittsburgh between the Penguins and Mike Sullivan; the crop of available veteran coaches, from Peter Laviolette to Bruce Boudreau to Darryl Sutter, is not likely to sway the Rangers into making a move.

The disgraced Joel Quenneville could also interest the Rangers, the report said. But that would be a wildly complicated hire that would require NHL commissioner Gary Bettman’s blessing. Quenneville is unofficially suspended after he was forced to resign as Panthers coach in 2021 due to his role in the Blackhawks’ sexual assault scandal. Even if Bettman is ready to let him back in the league, it could take a while. And it’s hard to imagine the Rangers would string Gallant along deep into the summer.

Anyway, what’s Mike Keenan up to these days?

James Kratch can be reached at james.kratch@xlmedia.com. Follow him on Twitter @jameskratch.

James Kratch is the managing editor of ESNY. He previously worked as a Rutgers and Giants (and Mike Francesa) beat reporter for NJ Advance Media.