Everyone in the hockey world knows Gerard Gallant and Mike Kelly are a package deal and that it’s just a matter of time before the dynamic coaching duo is back behind an NHL bench.
Gallant’s next foray into the National Hockey League could also be extra special. It might even become a family affair.
Gallant’s son-in-law and former NHLer Darryl Boyce is more than ready to make the jump to the pro coaching ranks after three exceptional years as a Development Coach and Assistant Coach in the QMJHL with the Moncton Wildcats.
Boyce’s portfolio changed rapidly with the Wildcats over the past few seasons due in large part to various coaching changes the organization made before hiring Daniel Lacroix in December of 2019.
The one constant presence throughout all the uncertainty and changes was Darryl Boyce.
Boyce’s versatility and expertise was on full display since his arrival in the Hub City in August of 2018. It’s clear that each and every player loved his teaching style and positive approach when it came to the player development or the coaching side of the game.
A matter of fact every player that I have ever interviewed raved about his professionalism and ability to get the absolute best out of them. Boyce used his experience as a player and video software to enhance performance in his developmental role with the team. When it came time to take to the bench, he was more than ready providing a calm yet competitive approach to coaching the defensive core. Yes, that’s right, Darryl Boyce ran the Cats defencemen and did a damn fine job of it. Perhaps, Boyce’s best quality as a junior hockey coach was his relatability, which is a characteristic that will undoubtedly translate to the next level. He’s always been a student of the game and a player that was destine to go behind the bench after their career.
Boyce’s journey in the game as a player was one of persistence and perseverance.
The two-way gritty forward had a great junior career in the Ontario Hockey League with the St. Michael’s Majors. Nevertheless, the Summerside, PEI product went undrafted. Wanting to continue his hockey career, Boyce signed on with the powerhouse University of New Brunswick Reds program from
2005 to 2007. NHL scouts finally took notice of his full potential. At 23 years of age, Boyce was signed as a free agent by the Toronto Maple Leafs and the rest as they say is history.
For the next five seasons Boyce would split time between the Marlies and Leafs. In 2011-2012, he was acquired by the Columbus Blue Jackets where he saw action in 20 games. Unfortunately, that would be the final time he appeared at the National Hockey League level. He played 90 more AHL games over the next two seasons for Hamilton and Springfield. Boyce finished his career in Europe retiring from the game in 2017-2018.
Darryl Boyce has paid his dues, he’s earned his wings when it comes to the developmental and coaching side of the game. He’s more than ready to make the transition to the pro ranks.
If Gallant and Kelly are to return to “the Show” which is inevitable at this point after their tremendous showing at World’s, Boyce will more than likely being joining them. It’s a move that just makes sense on many levels. There’s no question the charismatic upbeat coach definitely meets all the coaching and developmental credentials and would be an excellent addition to any NHL staff in either capacity.
Family is everything in life and the game of hockey. Gerard Gallant’s soon to be triumphant return to the NHL might be extra special if it involves his family.