After somewhat of speculation that Mike Kelly would be added to Head Coach Gerard Gallant‘s Coaching Staff, today Vegas Golden Knights General Manager George McPhee made it official today.
“We are very proud of the addition of Mike to our team’s coaching staff,” said Vegas Golden Knights General Manager George McPhee. “His experience as a coach at various levels within professional hockey and as a recent assistant coach under Gerard with the Panthers made him a well-rounded candidate. His familiarity with Gerard’s coaching style and practices will make this a seamless transition for our club.”
For Kelly and Gallant that have a bit of shared history when it comes to the coaching side of the game. Both men came from the Florida Panthers where they were given the ax last year for the team’s 11-10-1 performance for the season’s first 22 games.
Golden Knights Head Coach Gallant could hold back his excitement to have Kelly back alongside him behind the bench again heading to the first ever hockey campaign for the 2017-2018 season.
“I am very excited to be working with Mike again,” said Vegas Golden Knights Head Coach Gerard Gallant. “We enjoyed success in both Florida and Saint John and I am eager to bring that success to the Golden Knights. Mike is a great guy with a wealth of hockey knowledge and I couldn’t be happier with the decision to bring him to Las Vegas.”
He served under Gallant in Florida during the 2014-17 hockey season. During that span, his contributions helped the Panthers club to a 120-91-35 record along with a first-place finish in the NHL’s Atlantic Division for the 2015-16 campaign.
Kelly’s coaching experience before his stint in the NHL comes from his day’s in QMJHL with the St. Johns Sea Dog’s organization. Along with his duties behind the bench with the Sea Dogs, he also ran the hockey side of the franchise as their Director of Hockey Operations.
With his coaching experience, Kelly led the Sea Dogs to three first-place finishes. He also led them to three league final appearances, along with two QMJHL championships (2011 & 2012) and one Memorial Cup (2011).
Kelly’s Coaching Resume
Kelly also brings to the table a career on the playing side of the game as well thru the University of New Brunswick in Canada program from 1981-86. There, he scored 48 goals added 73 assists for 121 points.
So by adding both Gallant and Kelly into the coaching staff, Vegas has reunited them to lead the bench in the upcoming season.