PEI

'It's a no-brainer': Summerside councillor proposes tribute to Gerard Gallant

Gerard Gallant could have a statue in his honour in his hometown of Summerside, P.E.I.

'Gerard's been just a great ambassador for the City of Summerside'

'Everybody on council and the mayor and the staff and citizens of Summerside want to see something done, it's just a matter of what,' says Coun. Gordie Whitlock. (John Robertson/CBC)

Gerard Gallant could have a statue in his honour in his hometown of Summerside, P.E.I.

City Coun. Gordie Whitlock proposed some sort of permanent recognition for the Vegas Golden Knights head coach after Gallant led the expansion team to the Stanley Cup final and was named the NHL's coach of the year.

"Gerard's just been a great ambassador for the City of Summerside, no matter what city or state he coached in. I think it's very important that we recognize his achievements," Whitlock said.

'I just wanted to start the debate'

Gallant received plenty of accolades from his hometown over the course of the season, as the Golden Knights shocked the hockey world with their Stanley Cup run.

But it's time for something lasting to commemorate him, Whitlock said.

Before coaching in the NHL, Gallant led the Summerside Western Capitals to a national championship at Cahill Stadium in 1997. (CBC)

"I just wanted to kind of start the debate, so I proposed we construct a bronze statue of Gerard down at Credit Union Place. It's kind of the jewel of Summerside, it's the most high-traffic area we have."

He doesn't expect any objection, only discussion over what form it should take.

"Everybody on council and the mayor and the staff and citizens of Summerside want to see something done," he said. 

Committee of councillors and citizens

After talking it over with Mayor Bill Martin, Whitlock said he will bring a motion forward at the Aug. 20 council meeting, then form and chair a committee made up of councillors and citizens.

Gallant won the Jack Adams Trophy for coach of the year in a near-unanimous vote. (NHL)

"We'll talk about what's appropriate to do in his honour, and I don't suspect it's going to take more than one meeting to put the thing to bed."

Whitlock hopes to have the solution ready for the September council meeting so the tribute can be in place in time for hockey season.

"It's a no-brainer," he added. "The one person in Summerside who would want us to do nothing would be Gerard."

More P.E.I. news

With files from Matt Rainnie

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