The Montreal Canadiens announced Friday that former Red Wings' fan favorite and Saint John Sea Dogs coach Gerard Gallant has been hired as an assistant coach.
In three seasons with the Sea Dogs, he's guided the team to Memorial Cup appearances the last two seasons, including winning the championship in 2011. The 48-year-old native of Summerside, P.E.I., also won the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League and Canadian Hockey League Coach of the Year awards in 2011.
He compiled a remarkable 161-34-9 record in three seasons with Saint John. Under Gallant, the Sea Dogs became the first team in QMJHL history to record three consecutive 100-point seasons and had the best regular-season record in all three of his seasons.
Prior to joining the Sea Dogs, Gallant served as an NHL assistant coach with the New York Islanders in 2007-08 under Ted Nolan in and 2008-09 under Scott Gordon. He also spent seven years on the coaching staff of the Columbus Blue Jackets, including just over two years as head coach, from June 2004 to Nov. 13, 2006. He also was an assistant coach for gold-medal winning Team Canada at the 2007 World Championship in Russia.
Gallant played in 615 NHL games with the Red Wings and Tampa Bay Lightning, scoring 211 goals and 480 points. In 58 playoff games, all with the Wings, he had 18 goals and 21 assists.
The hiring could give Gallant a chance to work with Sea Dogs defenseman Nathan Beaulieu, who was drafted by the Canadiens with the 17th pick of the 2011 draft. Beaulieu signed his NHL entry-level contract May 30.