The Vegas Golden Knights could hire their first coach "before the end of the season," owner Bill Foley told the Las Vegas Review-Journal.
"At this point, I'd say it's 50-50 we have our head coach in place before the season's over," Foley said Monday.
The expansion team reportedly was going to name its coach after the NHL regular season in April or perhaps after the NHL Expansion Draft and 2017 NHL Draft in late June.
Video: Brian Hayward discusses the Vegas Golden Knights
But the newspaper speculates the timetable has been accelerated because of possible interest in former Florida Panthers coach Gerard Gallant.
Gallant was fired by Florida on Nov. 27. The New York Islanders reportedly requested permission to interview Gallant after they fired Jack Capuano on Jan. 17.
Asked by the Review-Journal if Gallant is the Golden Knights' No. 1 candidate, Foley said, "No comment. But I believe we're going to get a very good coach."
Doug Weight has been coaching the Islanders since Capuano was fired.
Gallant was 96-64-25 with the Panthers since 2014-15, and was 56-76-6 (4 ties) with the Columbus Blue Jackets from 2003-07. He was signed by Florida through 2018-19.