According to multiple outlets both in the United States in Canada they are reporting that former Florida Panthers Head Coach Gerard Gallant is to be named the 1st ever Bench Boss for Golden Knights.
Gerard Gallant was fired by Florida during the first half of season because of 11-10-1 record. Gallant was terminated by the Panthers organization due to tensions he had with upper management that was highlighted by differences in philosophy and changes that were happening at the top.
The prior season with the Panthers Gallant lead them to the franchises 2nd Atlantic Division Title in team history with a 47-26-9 recorded at 103 points.
Gallant’s Panthers were knocked out the first round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs by the much deeper New York Islanders who were led by Isles Captain John Tavares.
To his credit Gallant was the runner up for the 2015-2016 Jake Adams Awards being bested out by Washington Capitals Head Coach Barry Trotz.
His short stint with Florida Gallant brings with him a 96-65-25 record and a 1st round loss to his credit.
The former Red Wings product who was drafted at 107th overall back in 1981 by Detroit has 615 of NHL games under his belt and registered 211 goals, 269 assists at 480 points in 11 seasons in the league with DET and Tampa Bay.
For George McPhee he mentioned of what getting a second chance in the NHL is like for anyone in either coaching or front office appointments.
“In many positions, you’re better the second time around. We value experience. We just don’t know where this is going to end up. If there’s a terrific up and comer, he’ll certainly be a candidate. But in most of the hiring we’ve done here, it’s been experienced people,” VGK GM George McPhee
During today’s announcement with Lotus Sports Network Golden Knights Owner Bill Foley talked about what he wants his hockey club to be built like.
“We’re going to have to start from the net out,” Foley said. “So we’re going to start with great goaltending and I believe we’ll end up with, through this expansion draft, class A-type goaltenders. But we’ve also gotta protect them. We’ve gotta protect the net and make it as easy as possible on our goaltenders. So we’ll have the ability to draft fairly balanced and good defencemen and we’ll try to get as many of those defencemen to be offensive, as well. And then the slowest thing that will come for us are the superstars, the wing and the centres.We’re going to have to be a little patient in terms of our offence. Eventually, we’ll be a team of speed, agility and finesse.” VGK Owner Bill Foley
Foley also highlighted in today’s major announcement of what kind coach he was looking for in being the Bench Boss of the Golden Knights when they begin play this fall for the 2017-2018 season.
“I interviewed the coaching candidates that we were most interested in and my goal was to find a guy like I found in George that I could work with, that I could be honest with,” Foley said. “If I said something to him, he wouldn’t be offended or put his head down and sulk. He’s going to be flexible, he’s going to be responsive to what the overall team needs are. In his coaching style, it really felt like we needed someone who was a player’s coach, someone the players would really like and play hard for. That’s the kind of guy we’ve identified.” VGK Owner Bill Foley
Teams around the league have found that having a Head Coach who was a former player themselves enables the relation factor to come into play. The New York Islanders have that in Doug Weight, Pittsburgh Penguins with Mike Sullivan, Chicago Blackhawks led by Joel Queenville, and Anaheim Ducks have that in Randy Carlyle.
Bill Foley, George McPhee and the Golden Knights will make the official announcement tomorrow at T-Mobile Arena at 12:00 P.M.