UPDATED: Gallant new head coach of Panthers

Jason Simmonds
Send to a friend

Send this article to a friend.

NHL team makes announcement Saturday

SUNRISE, Fla. – It’s official: Gerard (Turk) Gallant is the new head coach of the Florida Panthers.

Gerard Gallant

Gallant new head coach of Panthers

 

NHL team makes announcement Saturday

 

 

By Jason Simmonds

Sports Editor

 

SUNRISE, Fla. – It’s official: Gerard (Turk) Gallant is the new head coach of the Florida Panthers.

Dale Tallon, executive vice-president and general manager of the Panthers, made the announcement on Saturday.

“We are pleased to welcome Gerard as the new head coach of the Florida Panthers,” said Tallon in a media release posted on the National Hockey League team’s website. “He is an individual with tremendous character, integrity and a strong passion for the game and has experience as an NHL head coach.

“Gerard is an excellent teacher and motivator who possesses the leadership qualities and hockey knowledge that are necessary to lead our team.”

The Panthers will introduce Gallant during a media conference at the BB&T Center on Monday at noon, Atlantic Time.

Gallant takes over a team that finished 29-45-8 (won-lost-overtime losses) last season. The Panthers, who hold the first pick in Friday’s NHL Entry Draft, finished 29th out of 30 teams and missed the playoffs by 27 points.

Gallant, a Summerside native, played 615 games in the NHL with the Detroit Red Wings and Tampa Bay Lightning and compiled a record of 56-76-4-6 (won-lost-tied-overtime losses) as head coach of the Columbus Blue Jackets from 2003 to 2006. Gallant, a sixth-round pick of Detroit in 1981, spent the last two seasons as an assistant coach with the Montreal Canadiens.

“Obviously we are disappointed to see an individual like Gerard Gallant leave our organization, but on behalf of the management team and the entire coaching staff I would like to wish Gerard the best of luck as the new head coach of the Florida Panthers,” said Montreal general manager Marc Bergevin in a statement. “Over the past two years, Gerard has been a valuable asset for us and contributed to the success of our team.”

“We are pleased to welcome Gerard as the new head coach of the Florida Panthers. He is an individual with tremendous character, integrity and a strong passion for the game and has experience as an NHL head coach. Gerard is an excellent teacher and motivator who possesses the leadership qualities and hockey knowledge that are necessary to lead our team.” Panthers executive vice-president and general manager Dale Tallon

Prior to joining the Canadiens, Gallant coached the Saint John Sea Dogs to back-to-back Quebec Major Junior Hockey League championships in 2011 and 2012. The Sea Dogs also won the 2011 Memorial Cup under Gallant.

The 50-year-old Gallant also has previous experience as an NHL assistant coach with the Blue Jackets and New York Islanders.

After retiring as a player in 1995, Gallant joined the coaching staff of the Summerside Western Capitals of the MHL (Maritime Junior Hockey League). Gallant would eventually take over as head coach and lead the Caps to the 1997 Royal Bank Cup. The ’97 Caps were the first team east of Ontario to win the Canadian junior A hockey championship.

Gallant made the jump to the pro coaching ranks as an assistant under Summerside native Grant Sonier with the Fort Wayne Komets in the now-defunct International Hockey League.

Gallant will be reunited with Panthers forward and 2012 NHL rookie of the year Jonathan Huberdeau, who was the third overall pick in the 2011 NHL Entry Draft. Huberdeau played three seasons in Saint John for Gallant, who had a 159-34-9 record behind the Sea Dogs’s bench.

"It's good to be reunited with him and I think things are going to be good with him here,'' Huberdeau told George Richards of the Miami Herald. "I'm excited for this. He's a guy who is intense and into the game. He keeps you up throughout the game. I think the guys are going to react to him. He wants what is best for the players.''

Huberdeau is planning to attend Monday's news conference.

Gallant will become the second head coach in franchise history from Summerside. Doug MacLean coached the Panthers from 1995 to 1997, including a run to the 1996 Stanley Cup final.

Gallant and his wife Pam are the parents of two grown children, Melissa and Jason.

 

Organizations: Florida Panthers, National Hockey League, BBT Center on Monday.Gallant Detroit Red Wings Tampa Bay Lightning Columbus Blue Jackets Montreal Canadiens Quebec Major Junior Hockey League New York Islanders Summerside Western Capitals Maritime Junior Hockey League International Hockey League.Gallant Miami Herald

Geographic location: Summerside, Ontario, Saint John

  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5

Thanks for voting!

Top of page

Comments

Comments