All signs point to Gerard Gallant returning to the Florida Panthers.
An assistant bench boss with the Montreal Canadiens the last two seasons, Gallant is expected to be named head coach of the Panthers, according to Sportsnet’s Doug MacLean. MacLean said on Hockey Central @ Noon he had “no doubt” about Gallant’s appointment.
Insider Elliotte Friedman reports Gallant will likely be named to the position on Monday.
A 50-year-old from Summerside, P.E.I., Gallant was previously a head coach with the Columbus Blue Jackets. In 142 games between 2003-04 and 2006-07, he coached the team to a 56-76-6 record.
Gallant has also been a Panther before. During the 1999-2000 campaign, he served as assistant coach of the club’s AHL affiliate out of Louisville. He then spent three seasons as the Blue Jackets assistant coach before he was promoted to the head job.
He’s also a two-time CHL Coach of the Year (2010 and 2011) who won a pair of QMJHL championships and one Memorial Cup as head coach of the Saint John Sea Dogs.
Gallant played more than a decade in the NHL, most of his time spent with the Detroit Red Wings. A left winger, in 615 career games he put up 211 goals and 269 assists.
Florida has been without a head coach since Panthers general manager Dale Tallon fired interim coach Peter Horachek in late April.
The team has the No. 1 pick in next week’s draft. Florida finished second-last in the East this past season, with a 29-45 record and 66 points. Only Buffalo (52 points) fared worse.