NHL

The Canadian Press - ONLINE EDITION

Panthers hire Gerard Gallant as coach, reuniting him with standout Jonathan Huberdeau

  • Print

SUNRISE, Fla. - Gerard Gallant and Jonathan Huberdeau had a wildly successful coach-player relationship at the top level of junior hockey.

The Florida Panthers hope they will again in the NHL.

Gallant was hired Saturday to coach the Panthers, a move that reunites him with Huberdeau, a young forward who is considered one of the franchise's biggest keys to rebuilding. Gallant replaces Peter Horachek, who had the interim title for most of last season after replacing Kevin Dineen. The Panthers told Horachek in late April that he would not be retained.

Weeks later, they settled on Gallant.

"He is an individual with tremendous character, integrity and a strong passion for the game and has experience as an NHL head coach," Panthers general manager Dale Tallon said in a release distributed by the team.

"Gerard is an excellent teacher and motivator who possesses the leadership qualities and hockey knowledge that are necessary to lead our team."

Gallant will be formally introduced by the Panthers on Monday.

He spent parts of three seasons as the head coach in Columbus before being fired in November 2006 and has been an NHL assistant with the Blue Jackets, the New York Islanders and most recently the Montreal Canadiens, for whom he worked the past two years.

He also has some time in the Panthers organization, having spent the 1999-2000 season as an assistant with the team's AHL affiliate.

But one of his key selling points was likely his work with the Saint John Sea Dogs of the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League. He went 159-34-9 in three seasons there, with Huberdeau — the third overall pick in the 2011 draft — on the team for those years. Huberdeau had 88 goals and 124 assists in 165 games in juniors under Gallant.

Still, Gallant faces a big test with the Panthers, who finished 29th in the 30-team in NHL with 66 points this past season and have not won a playoff series since going to the Stanley Cup Finals in 1996.

Florida ranked next-to-last league-wide in goals scored, plus were the worst team in the NHL on special teams — scoring on 10 per cent of its power plays and letting opponents score on 24 per cent of man-up chances.

By season's end, Florida was a staggering 27 points out of the final post-season spot in the Eastern Conference.

Gallant becomes Florida's eighth coach in 11 seasons. As a player, he spent parts of nine seasons with the Detroit Red Wings, then finished his NHL career with the Tampa Bay Lightning. He scored 211 goals in 615 games.

Fact Check

Fact Check

Have you found an error, or know of something we’ve missed in one of our stories?
Please use the form below and let us know.

* Required
  • Please post the headline of the story or the title of the video with the error.

  • Please post exactly what was wrong with the story.

  • Please indicate your source for the correct information.

  • Yes

    No

  • This will only be used to contact you if we have a question about your submission, it will not be used to identify you or be published.

  • Cancel

Having problems with the form?

Contact Us Directly
  • Print

You can comment on most stories on winnipegfreepress.com. You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is be a Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscriber to join the conversation and give your feedback.

You can comment on most stories on winnipegfreepress.com. You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is be a Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscriber to join the conversation and give your feedback.

Have Your Say

New to commenting? Check out our Frequently Asked Questions.

Have Your Say

Comments are open to Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscribers only. why?

Have Your Say

Comments are open to Winnipeg Free Press Subscribers only. why?

The Winnipeg Free Press does not necessarily endorse any of the views posted. By submitting your comment, you agree to our Terms and Conditions. These terms were revised effective April 16, 2010.

letters

Make text: Larger | Smaller

LATEST VIDEO

Exclusive architectural tour of CMHR with Antoine Predock

View more like this

Photo Store Gallery

  • JJOE.BRYKSA@FREEPRESS.MB.CA Local-Postcard  Day-Horror frost and fog created a most beautiful setting at Assiniboine Park Thursday morning in WInnipeg- Enviroent Canada says the fog will lifet this morning and will see a high of -7C-  JOE BRYKSA/WINNIPEG FREE PRESS- Feb 18, 2010
  • PHIL.HOSSACK@FREEPRESS.MB.CA 090728 / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS White Pelicans belly up to the sushi bar Tuesday afternoon at Lockport. One of North America's largest birds is a common sight along the Red RIver and on Lake Winnipeg. Here the fight each other for fish near the base of Red RIver's control structure, giving human fisher's downstream a run for their money.

View More Gallery Photos

Poll

How many goals do you think Evander Kane will score this year?

View Results

View Related Story

Ads by Google