The team made the announcement Saturday. Gallant spent parts of three seasons as coach of the Columbus Blue Jackets from 2003 through 2007 and has been an assistant coach with the Montreal Canadiens for the past two years.
He also coached the Saint John Sea Dogs of the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League, where his top player was Jonathan Huberdeau, who now plays for the Panthers and is considered one of the franchise's keys to rebuilding.
Gallant will be formally introduced by the Panthers on Monday. He will become Florida's eighth coach in a span of 11 seasons.
It is really special. I had a lot of friends and family here tonight, and for my first [NHL] game in here it was great. I played here as an elementary-school player in the city championships and this was my first time back. It was a lot of fun..
— Toronto native Brandon Pirri after scoring 2 goals for Panthers in win at Maple Leafs on Thursday