Florida Panthers hire Gerard Gallant as coach

Gerard Gallant, seen here as an assistant coach with the Montreal Canadiens, was hired as coach of...

Gerard Gallant, seen here as an assistant coach with the Montreal Canadiens, was hired as coach of the Florida Panthers Saturday. (BEN PELOSSE/QMI Agency)

DAVE KAUFMAN, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 12:50 AM ET

MONTREAL - Former Montreal Canadiens assistant coach Gerard Gallant has been hired as the new head coach of the Florida Panthers.

Panthers general manager Dale Tallon made the announcement Saturday but Gallant won’t be formally introduced until Monday.

“(Gallant) is an individual with tremendous character, integrity and a strong passion for the game and has experience as an NHL head coach,” Tallon said in a press release. “Gerard is an excellent teacher and motivator who possesses the leadership qualities and hockey knowledge that are necessary to lead our team.”

In a statement, Montreal Canadiens GM Marc Bergevin said the team was “disappointed” to see Gallant leave the organization, and that Gallant was “a valuable asset for us and contributed to the success of the team.”

This is Gallant’s second opportunity to be an NHL head coach. He was at the helm of the Columbus Blue Jackets in 2003-2004, and from 2005-2007. He was the CHL coach of the year in 2010 and 2011 with the Saint John Sea Dogs.

The Summerside, P.E.I., native was a sixth-round draft pick in the 1981 NHL draft, and played 615 games for Detroit and Tampa Bay.

Gallant takes over as coach of the Panthers from the fired Peter Horachek, who took over when Kevin Dineen was let go early in the season.


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