Gerard Gallant to coach Canada at upcoming men’s world championships

Team Canada head coach Gerard Gallant explains his reasoning for getting back behind the bench for the World Championships, and how it had nothing to do with showcasing himself for NHL teams.

Veteran head coach Gerard Gallant is getting back behind a bench, this time on the international stage.

Hockey Canada announced Wednesday that Gallant will lead the coaching staff for the upcoming men’s world hockey championships in Riga, Latvia. Mike Kelly and Andre Tourigny will serve as assistant coaches.

Gallant, 57, hasn’t coached a game since he was dismissed by the Vegas Golden Knights in January of 2020. He has nearly two decades of NHL coaching experience, including stints as head coach with the Blue Jackets (2004-06), Panthers (2014-17) and Golden Knights (2017-20). He led the Golden Knights to the Stanley Cup Final in 2018 and won the Jack Adams Award coach of the year award in that same season.

Kelly has coached alongside Gallant on multiple teams, including with Vegas and Florida, as well as with the QMJHL’s Saint John Sea Dogs. His more than two decades of experience include stops in the NHL, AHL and all three leagues in the CHL.

Tourigny’s role on Gallant’s staff is part of a larger overall deal he signed with Hockey Canada earlier this year. As part of the agreement, Tourigny will also be behind the bench in some capacity at the 2022 Beijing Olympics, 2022 world junior hockey championships and 2022 world championships. Most recently he coached Canada to a silver medal at the world juniors and led the OHL’s Ottawa 67’s to a league-best 50-11-1 record in 2019-20 before the pandemic cancelled the playoffs.

Canada opens the 2021 worlds on May 21 against host Lativia and will also play Italy, Finland, Germany, Kazakhstan, Norway and the United States in preliminary-round play.

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