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Mike Kelly: 7 Fun Facts

Getting to know the Golden Knights' new assistant coach

by Dan Marrazza @GoldenKnights /

When the Golden Knights hired Mike Kelly as an assistant coach - the first assistant coach in team history - on Thursday morning, the immediate reaction was that it had a lot to do with his connection to Gerard Gallant.

And this is absolutely true.

Kelly had tremendous success serving under Gallant with both the Florida Panthers and QMJHL's Saint John Sea Dogs, and the chemistry that the two men already have makes for a smooth transition for the duo into their new roles in Vegas.

Kelly has, however, had man successes that were in no way connected to Gallant.

Here are seven fun facts to get to know Kelly better.

1. Kelly and Gallant have won everywhere they've coached together.

Their Sea Dogs teams won the QMJHL championship in both seasons they worked together in Saint John, and also the Memorial Cup (championship of all Canadian junior hockey in 2010-11).

With the Panthers, Gallant and Kelly led their team to a franchise record 47-27-9 record during the 2015-16 season.



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2. Has his own accomplishments not working with Gallant

After the 2011-12 season, Gallant left the Sea Dogs to become assistant coach for the Montreal Canadiens.

This allowed Kelly to step into a role as general manager and head coach in Saint John for two seasons, 2012-13 and 2013-14.

This came after Kelly was named QMJHL General Manager of the Year in 2010-11.

The most notable current NHL player that Kelly worked with in Saint John was Jonathan Huberdeau, who he also helped mentor with the Florida Panthers

3. Also has ties to Golden Knights assistant general manager Kelly McCrimmon

Kelly was the head coach of the WHL's Brandon Wheat Kings, owned by McCrimmon, during the 2003-04 season.

4. His other NHL experience came with the Vancouver Canucks

Was assistant coach of the Canucks under Alain Vigneault from 2006-08, and was assistant coach of the Canucks' AHL affiliate, the Manitoba Moose, in 2005-06.

5. Never played in the NHL

Kelly did, however, play at the University of New Brunswick from 1981-86 and serve as team captain his final three seasons.

6. Coached at the University of New Brunswick, too

Kelly helped lead the University of New Brunswick to a championship as head coach in 1997-98.

7. Has a son, Ryan, who played for him in the QMJHL

Ryan Kelly, 23, was a defenseman that played 35 games for Saint John during the 2011-12 and 2012-13 seasons.

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