Panthers introduce Gerard Gallant as head coach

The Florida Panthers officially introduced former Montreal Canadiens assistant coach Gerard Gallant as their new head coach today during a press conference.

“When the opportunity came up that they were looking for a head coach, you look at their roster and you look at their core players, I think it’s a great opportunity,” Gallant said. “I was in Montreal two years ago when I first started and that team was in 27th place. The League is so close, the teams are so close together now, you can turn things around in a hurry here and that’s what I see with the Florida team.”

“It’s very important to get the right guy with the type of players and the type of team we have in place,” Tallon said. “It was very important to get a good guy who was a good teacher and who commanded respect from the veteran players.”

“He’s current,” Tallon said of Gallant. “The last two years he’s seen a lot of the East. The fact that he coached in Columbus as a head coach, he learned a lot from that experience. The fact that he coached juniors for three years and he won championships, he’s current and he’s contemporary with the young guys that we have, so he’ll know both sides of it. So we think it’s a great fit. He’s got enough experience from the NHL level and enough experience with the young players that he coached in junior.”

“I like to score goals,” he said. “I’d like to see our team score some goals, be an offensive hockey club. But we all know you have to play good defense. You look around the NHL, most of the teams play the same style of hockey. It’s about execution; it’s about working hard and competing.” –