Panthers to interview Gerard Gallant for head coaching gig

According to a report from Harvey Fialkov of the Sun Sentinel the Florida Panthers will be interviewing Montreal Canadiens assistant coach Gerard Gallant for their vacant head coaching position.

“A few new names have been added to the Panthers’ candidate list, including Detroit Red Wings assistant Bill Peters and Canadiens assistant Gerard Gallant, according to a source close to the team.”

As first speculated by NBC’s Pierre McGuire on TSN 690 radio that Gerard Gallant may be approached for a head coaching position, then speculated by TheHabsNation that possibly the Panthers could look to Gallant for the position.

Gallant was brought in by Michel Therrien when he was hired by the Canadiens for his second tour of duty about 2 years ago. Gallant is highly regarded by the Habs organization as the mentor for young rookies and his fluent communication to the team night in and night out. Some have said the Gallant was the one pushing the Canadiens coaching staff to name rookie Michael Bournival permanently to the team and also has strong ties with rookie defenceman Nathan Beaulieu who he coached in junior.

Gallant has head coaching experience with the Columbus Blue Jackets in where he coached for two full seasons from 2003-2005 before being fired early in the 2006-07 campaign. Gallant was also assistant coach for the New York Islanders in 07-08 before being named head coach of the QMJHL’s Saint John Sea Dogs in 2009.