The Vegas Golden Knights don't yet know which players will take the ice for them duringthe franchise's inaugural season in 2017-2018, but they do know who will be behind the bench.
On Thursday morning, the team announced that Gerard Gallant would be the Golden Knights' first-ever head coach. Gallant released a statement as well.
"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."
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Gallant last coached the Florida Panthers, leading them to an Atlantic Division titlebehind a 47-26-9 regular-season record in 2015-2016 and finishing as a Jack Adams Award finalist, given to the league's best coach. But Gallant was fired by the Panthers this December after a disappointing (though not fatal or inexplicable) slow start in Florida.It was a quick-trigger firing and Gallant's comments in the aftermath suggested that he didn't have the best working relationship with the team's front office.
In parts of six seasons with the Blue Jackets and Panthers, Gallant has a 152-140-31 regular season record (with four ties as well) and a 2-4 playoff record. He's had success coaching young talent throughout his career, and the Knights mayhave plenty of youngsters in the lineup as they try to get their franchise off the ground in the first few years.