This morning Bill Foley and the Vegas Golden Knights announced today that they have officially hired former Florida Panthers Head Coach Gerard Gallant to be the organizations 1st ever Bench Boss for the 2017-2018 NHL season.
At noon today at T-Mobile Arena Golden Knights Owner Bill Foley and General Manager George McPhee will officially introduce Gallant into the Vegas hockey family.
George McPhee offered up his excitement about bringing on Gallant to manage the bench for Vegas this upcoming season.
“We are proud to announce Gerard as the first head coach in Vegas Golden Knights history,” said Vegas Golden Knights General Manager George McPhee. “He is an experienced head coach, has had success at multiple levels and has a great reputation amongst the players who have played for him. We undertook a very detailed due diligence process over the last several months and canvassed a number of qualified head coaching candidates to ensure we found the best coach for our group. And we believe we have found that coach in Gerard. We look forward to working with him to build a team that our fans and our community are proud to support.”VGK GM George McPhee
For Gallant he is thrilled, excited and echoed his thoughts about what it means to be 1st Head Coach of the organization.
“Being named the first head coach in Vegas Golden Knights history is such a tremendous opportunity and one I am extremely grateful for,” said Vegas Golden Knights Head Coach Gerard Gallant. “There is a great deal of excitement in the hockey community regarding what is happening with the Golden Knights and I am glad to now be a part of the team. We have a state-of-the-art practice facility being constructed, a world class home arena and from what I’ve heard, a very passionate and engaged fan base. I look forward to seeing that enthusiasm first hand and will work with George and the rest of the hockey operations staff to ice a team that Golden Knights fans will be proud to support.” VGK HC Gerard Gallant
Prior to his arrival to Vegas, Gallant spent the last 2 full seasons with the Florida Panthers organization. In his first season behind the bench with the Southern Florida hockey club Gallant led his team to a 38-29-15 record at 91 points during the 2014-2015 campaign.
The following season he bested his coaching record to 47-26-9 recorded at 103 points along capturing the franchises 2nd Atlantic Division Title in club history. His accolades include while with the Panthers was the runner up to Washington Capitals Head Barry Trotz in the Jake Adams voting.
What Gallant also brings with him to the Golden Knights is creditable international coaching experience. Going back to the 2007 IIHF World Championship Gallant contributed to helping Team Canada to Gold in that tournament. Most recently he was part of the World Cup of Hockey North American Team that took place in Toronto last year.
His coaching career in the National Hockey League goes even further in the past when he was the Assistant Coach with Les Canadiéns Montréal during the 2012-2014 season. There along with Head Coach Michel Therrien took the Canadiéns to the Stanley Cup Playoffs both times. This includes an Eastern Conference Finals appearance against the New York Rangers in the 2013-2014 season.
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.