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Getting acquainted with new Golden Knights coach

10 things you may not know about Gerard Gallant

NHL.com @NHL

Gerard Gallant was named as the first coach of the Vegas Golden Knights on Thursday; the NHL's 31st team will begin play next season.

But the coach of the NHL's newest team has a pro hockey career as a player and coach that goes back to the early 1980s, including a decade as one of the NHL's toughest power forwards.

Here's an introduction to the new coach of the Golden Knights:

 

1. Gallant is one of 31 NHL players born in Prince Edward Island, and one of five who scored more than 200 goals. He was selected by the Detroit Red Wings in the sixth round (No. 107) of the 1981 NHL Draft.

 

2. All but four of Gallant's 211 NHL goals came with the Red Wings. His best season was 1988-89, when he finished with 93 points (39 goals, 54 assists), each an NHL career high. He also had 230 penalty minutes that season.

 

3. Gallant finished his NHL career by playing 51 games for the Tampa Bay Lightning in 1993-94 and one in 1994-95. He retired with 480 points (211 goals, 269 assists) in 615 games, as well as 39 points (18 goals, 21 assists) in 58 Stanley Cup Playoff games.

 

4. Gallant's first pro coaching job was as an assistant with Fort Wayne of the International Hockey League in 1998-99. He spent the 1999-2000 season as an assistant with Louisville of the American Hockey League.

 

5. His first coaching job in the NHL came when he was hired as an assistant by the Columbus Blue Jackets in 2000-01. He took over as coach after Doug MacLean stepped down on Jan. 1, 2004, to concentrate on his role as general manager. Gallant was fired 15 games into the 2006-07 season; the Blue Jackets were 56-76-4-6 in 142 games.

 

6. Gallant returned to the NHL as an assistant with the New York Islanders from 2007-09, then spent three seasons as coach of Saint John of the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League, winning two QMJHL championships and the 2011 Memorial Cup, and earning induction into the league's Hall of Fame. Gallant's top player was forward Jonathan Huberdeau, who later played for him with the Florida Panthers.

 

7. He spent two seasons (2012-14) as an assistant with the Montreal Canadiens before being named coach of the Panthers on June 15, 2014. Florida went 38-29-15 (91 points) in his first season, an improvement of nine wins and 25 points.

 

8. The Panthers won the Atlantic Division title in 2015-16 under Gallant, finishing 47-26-9 for 103 points, the best record in their history. He was named a finalist for the Jack Adams Awards as the NHL's top coach and coached the Atlantic Division entry in the 2016 NHL All-Star Game.

 

9. The Panthers were 11-10-1 this season when he was fired on Nov. 27.

 

10. Gallant has a number of connections to his new team.

-- Director of Amateur Scouting Scott Luce was director of scouting and director of player Personnel for the Panthers when Gallant was coach. Amateur scout Erin Ginnell was Florida's director of scouting at the same time.

-- Pro scout Kelly Kisio and Gallant were teammates with the Red Wings from 1983-86.

-- Assistant general manager Kelly McCrimmon's brother, Brad McCrimmon, played with Gallant in Detroit from 1990-93.

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