A new name has emerged in the Florida Panthers head coaching search, and his coaching history could move him ahead of the other candidates. Dale Tallon and the Panthers received permission to interview Montreal Canadiens assistant coach Gerard Gallant for their head coaching vacancy.
Gallant fits the mold that Tallon is looking for in a head coach, someone with experience. After coaching the Columbus Blue Jackets for almost two seasons, Gallant became a success at the major junior level with the Saint John Sea Dogs.
That is where his history could come into play, as during his successful tenure with Saint John he coached a player by the name of Jonathan Huberdeau – the Panthers first round selection in the 2011 NHL Draft and the Calder Trophy winner in 2013.
He doesn’t have the head coaching experience at the top level like Ron Wilson or Tom Renney but he has been successful as a coach, and is a former player whose style of play could be exactly what Tallon is looking to mold his team into.
The Canadiens (the team he is an assistant of) rely on goaltending and speed but Gallant as a player had a blend of skill and grit not seen as much in the league anymore. For four consecutive seasons during the 80’s, Gallant scored both 30-goals and registered over 200-penalty minutes.
Size, grit, and skill is still what it takes to win in the league, and if Gallant can implement a tad of his playing style into Florida’s games – even if they don’t have the talent, they will still compete in games.
What would you feel about Gallant getting the head coaching nod? Smart move for Tallon, or do you believe they should pass over them? Requesting permission to interview him means Tallon has to be fairly serious about bringing him in.