Gallant named head coach of Panthers; Habs open 2014-15 season in Toronto

Gerard Gallant, who has spent the past two seasons as an assistant coach to Michel Therrien, is leaving the Canadiens to become head coach of the Florida Panthers.

Panthers general manager Dale Tallon announced on Saturday afternoon that Gallant will replace interim head coach Peter Horacek behind the Florida bench. Horacek got the job after Kevin Dineen was fired last November.

“Obviously we are disappointed to see an individual like Gerard Gallant leave our
organization, but on behalf of the management team and the entire coaching staff I would like to wish Gerard the best of luck as the new head coach of the Florida Panthers,” Canadiens GM Marc Bergevin said in a statement Saturday afternoon. “Over the past two years, Gerard has been a valuable asset for us and contributed to the success of our team.”

Tweeted Canadiens defenceman P.K. Subban: “Congrats to Gerard Gallant on the new coaching job! Very deserving! One of the best I’ve had!”

The Panthers (29-45-8) had the second-worst record in the NHL last season. Only the Buffalo Sabres (21-51-10) were worse. The Panthers won the draft lottery and will have the No. 1 pick at the June 27 draft in Philadelphia.

Said Tallon in a statement: “We are pleased to welcome Gerard as the new head coach of the Florida Panthers. He is an individual with tremendous character, integrity and a strong passion for the game and has experience as an NHL head coach. Gerard is an excellent teacher and motivator who possesses the leadership qualities and hockey knowledge that are necessary to lead our team.”

Gallant will be introduced the the Florida media at a news conference on Monday.

Gallant spent parts of three seasons as head coach of the Columbus Blue Jackets, starting in 2003-04. He has also been an assistant coach with the New York Islanders. The 50-year-old spent three seasons as head coach of the QMJHL’s Saint John Sea Dogs, winning the league championship in 2011 and 2012 and the Memorial Cup in 2011. Panthers forward Jonathan Huberdeau played for Gallant in junior.

The NHL announced on Saturday that the 2014-15 season will open on Wednesday, Oct. 8, with the Canadiens playing the Maple Leafs in Toronto that night.The league announced the home openers for all 30 teams, with the complete schedule to be released on Sunday. The Canadiens will visit Washington for the Capitals’ home opener on Oct. 9 and play their own home opener at the Bell Centre on Thursday, Oct. 16 against the Boston Bruins.

The Canadiens will have an eight-game preseason schedule that will start with a Red vs. White game on Monday, Sept. 22 at the Bell Centre. The Bruins will visit the Bell Centre the next night.

(Photo by John Kenney/The Gazette)

Habs lose assistant coach Gallant, by The Gazette’s Pat Hickey

Gallant named Panthers coach,

Huberdeau ‘excited’ to be reunited with Gallant, NBC

Panthers need to keep Gallant for long haul, The Hockey News

NHL announces home openers for 2014-15 season,

2014-15 Canadiens’ preseason schedule,

More Habs numbers to be retired after Lapointe? Stu on Sports blog

Robinson praises former teammate Lapointe, Stu on Sports blog

Subban lands on cover of Maclean’s magazine, Stu on Sports blog


  1. HabsChris says:

    Chris –
    Tallon has mentioned many times that he would be willing to trade the pick for the right price. Supposedly the flyers and Canucks have made decent offers.

  2. MikeHabs says:

    Sucks to see Gallant go as he is a very good coach. Good with the team and probably cooled MT down a bit this year. Hope he will do well just not when playing MTL.

    Here is a look at potential first round draft picks for next weekend:

  3. CJ says:

    Anyone else take a minute to review the 2014-2015 schedule? It’s more interesting then watching Michelle Wie putt…..

    Nothing stands out at first glance. We have a tough schedule to start. Additionally we open and close in Toronto. We are on an extended home stand before Christmas, the exception being a road test in Uniondale on December 23. We hit the road on December 29th and hop all over through the New Year. Our west coast swing is early March, almost identical to this season.

    I’ve gone through the Sportsnet broadcast schedule and am prepared to give it a chance. It will be interesting to see how Sunday night hockey compares against Sunday night football.

    Just a quick summary following first glance….

  4. Harditya says:

    Weird schedule. Facing the Bruins and Leafs four times in the regular season, yet facing the Bolts and Panthers 5 times a year.. okay? Is Bettman this desperate to get fans down in Florida? What the heck happened to rivalries? We used to face Bruins and Leafs at least 6 times a year, it was 8 meetings a season at one point.

    • CJ says:

      In a word, yes. Sunbelt hockey will be Bettman’s legacy. He, more then anyone else, the board of governors, the players, the owners have a vested interest in the success of ALL 30 NHL teams. They aren’t selling out in Florida to watch New Jersey. Montreal and Toronto sell. Period.

  5. Timo says:

    Here is a question for you scotch connoisseurs (Front?)… I need to get a bottle of good scotch for guy that helped me with something. Something that would preferably be available at stores and I wouldn’t have to order from god knows where on the internet.

    Any help much appreciated.

    • Bash says:

      You might want to feel him out a little on his preferences. (Does he prefer a smoky product?) if you can’t do that a safe bet is Oban.

      “If all you have is a hammer, everything looks like a nail.” (anon)

    • JohnInTruro says:

      Make sure to take the advice from the folks who HAVEN’T been bashing you over the last few weeks.

    • Habitant in Surrey says:

      Macallan 55 Year old Lalique Crystal Decanter (Price: $12,500)

      Glenfiddich 50 Year Old (Price: $16,000)

      Highland Park 50 Year Old Single Malt (Price: $17,500)

      Dalmore 62 Single Hiland Malt Scotch (Price: $58,000)

      1926 Macallan Fine And Rare Collection (Price: $75,000)

      Dalmore 64 Trinitas (Price: $160,000)

      62 Year Old Dalmore (Price: $200,000)

      64 Year Old Macallan (Price: $460,000)

      105 Year Old Master of Malt (Price: $1.4 Million)

      Isabella’s Islay (Price: $6.2 Million)

      …how ‘good’ a ‘friend’ is he Michael ?

  6. Timo says:

    “The St. Louis Blues could be on many teams’ watch list for potential free agents targets.

    With the team locking up Jay Bouwmeester and Alexander Steen prior to free agency, the team could be posied to flood the market with veteran talent on July 1, according to Jeremy Rutherford of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.

    Rutherford reports that the likes of Steve Ott, Brenden Morrow, Derek Roy, and Ryan Miller likely will not be signed prior to Canada Day to give Blues GM Doug Armstrong flexibility at this coming Friday.

    “I want to make sure we have the ability to make player acquisitions at the Draft,” Armstrong told Rutherford.”

    What will Derek Roy be asking as a UFA? Since Therrien wants a grinding team, Brandon Morrow?

  7. CJ says:

    Well, I’m officially birthday partied out….. Chasing 20 kids, all five and under grinds a man down. A stiff drink and the final round of the US Women’s Open are ahead. The couch beckons my name.

    Tomorrow kicks off the two biggest weeks of the year. Teams will hold them or fold them. Inevitably, a GM will push too many chips onto the table and gamble big on a game changer. It’s a thin UFA class, and beyond the top ten, a pretty average draft. Prices are likely to be sky high. Dave Bolland might become a made man, capitalizing on a weak class, leveraging his free agent status into a 7 year, $35 million dollar pay day. Sounds crazy right? I agree. But, in a bidding war caution is ultimately thrown to the wind, and mistakes are made. On a side note I’d really love to have Bolland on the team, provided the term and dollar value fit, but it’s safe to say 29 other teams all feel the same way.

    So, how do we make the team better? IMO, we remain patient, targeting those secondary pieces who won’t find themselves on anyone’s must to list. Guys like Tanner Glass who can bolster the fourth line. On the RFA front, patience might also afford an opportunity at an unsigned free agent. Perhaps Anthony Peluso. We have some assets should be find an opportunity to better ourselves in the short term. We continue to build our depth, at both the NHL and AHL level. We create competition, pushing men to fight for jobs at camp. Lastly, we build our identity and shift the culture a notch further.

    In a way I worry that last season’s success has heightened expectations beyond reality. We are still a work in progress. Yes, any team with Carey Price fixed in net has a chance every night, but key elements are missing. So far as I’m concerned, a strong draft will set us up for future success, while being firm but fair on the free agency front creates space and opportunity for the future.

    Just my two cents…. CJ

  8. Un Canadien errant says:

    Perry Pearn, Jacques Martin’s Assistant Coach in Montréal a few years ago, and whose latest job was as Claude Noël’s assistant in Winnipeg, is rumoured to be in line for the same gig in Vancouver.

    My sources are unreliable, but their info is fascinating.–Woody Paige

  9. Un Canadien errant says:

    Canucks love Whistler, will be here for the start of training camp.

    My sources are unreliable, but their info is fascinating.–Woody Paige

  10. HabsChris says:

    They weren’t legitimate pairings. I’m just trying to imagine our depth if we were able to land him. I know Florida holds the upper ground in this situation, I’m just trying to figure out what it would take to land that pick.

  11. Habitant in Surrey says:

    For Youze Guyz having trouble deciding where to go and chill this summer

    Who knows, Youze may even bump into Brendan, Carey or Josh at a gas pump

    Super Natural British Columbia Canada

    BC Driving Routes Map
    Explore where each driving route will take you by clicking on a route’s name.

  12. Maritime Ronn says:

    @ Chris

    Interesting speculation and guess re Koivu family, yet who really knows what is on his mind.
    Perhaps he has ‘Unfinished Business’ in Montreal with a brand new and superior ownership and regime.

    One thing Koivu ‘may’ have vs, older, pre 2000 players, is financial stability which always allows choice and independence.
    He was very fortunate to play in the ‘Big Pay’ era and collected close to $55M USD before taxes in his career.

    As for a possible Habs AC, he could be a very interesting candidate for many of the following reasons regardless of NHL coaching experience.

    …and as for the perceived necessity of previous Pro coaching experience, Kirk Muller had little to none.

    Before Kirk Muller became assistant coach with the Habs, he had 1 year HC coaching at….Queen’s University and a quick stint as assistant with the ‘Under 18 group’ for team Canada.

    He did just fine with the Habs…and that ‘coaching experience’ previously was far from anything on the Pro level.
    Koivu Pros:

    – Therrien coached Koivu in his 1st Montreal stint for almost 3 seasons from 2000-2003 when he was fired after 46 games.
    While Therrien knows him, the question would be does he like and trust him?

    – Koivu was in Montreal for 13 years, so he knows what the market is all about.

    – 18 years in the NHL proves character and an understanding of the game. He would also have instant respect in the room.

    – While not in Patrice Bergeron or Jonathan Toews territory, Koivu career Faceoff Percentage is 52.4%, and who better to teach the young ones such as Galchenyuk-Eller and pipeline.

    – Koivu just stopped playing and would know exactly what a post CBA dressing room is all about – be that for vets or the nouveau-riche youngsters.

    – He would also know most of the present day players and tendencies on the ice, coupled with system knowledge

    • Habitant in Surrey says:

      I have a feeling Saku would choose remaining in Southern California over returning to Montreal and the Habs. For family reasons, as well He likely has turned-the-page on the Habs, wouldn’t You think Ron ?

      • Maritime Ronn says:


        Absolutely agree with you for all the reasons you mention.
        I just threw that out there for some fun and speculation
        🙂 oops to your buddie

    • Chris says:

      Koivu goes home every summer, and he has a lot of things on his plate in general. Raising children in their own culture is very important to a lot of the Scandinavians and Finns. My expectation if Koivu returns to Finland and plays a year or two as a farewell with TPS, the team he was drafted from and who he returned to play for in the lockout seasons. An outside chance would be to sign with Minnesota on a one year deal to play one last season with his younger brother, who has established himself well enough now that there would be no threat of being overshadowed, something Saku has long been wary of.

      Down the road, I think he will be more involved with the Finnish national team program and with the Finnish IOC, somewhat precluding an NHL run.

  13. Bill J says:

    Who here is looking forward to MBe pulling another fast one?

    I mean, even though Vanek didn’t work out in the playoffs that was a swindle. Compared to what Snow paid to Buffalo to get Vanek months earlier…

    I’m not suggesting he lands florida’s pick for Gorges, but what would be constituted as a swindle, that MAY fly with his former boss who handles Florida. Or with his former coworker who handles Winnipeg ??

    Go Habs Go!

    • Maritime Ronn says:

      hi bill

      Word on the ‘street’ was that Snow was caught between a rock and a hard place at 2:55 PM of a 3:00 PM Trade Deadline.

      Other words out on the street were that Snow has very few good relationships in terms of trade partners…and might have chose GMMB’s offer over a few others that may have been very slightly superior…because GMMB and his great staff have an incredible reputation in the NHL.

      You can take that with however many Mediterranean grains of salt you wish…yet I promise never to post stuff that is untrue.

  14. habsfan0 says:

    Any chance of the Habs trading for Evander Kane?
    I’d give the Jets Bouillon,Parros,Plekanec & Briere.

  15. Chris says:

    Just a point on Koivu as an assistant coach: his daughter is now 10, and his son is 8. If his NHL playing career ends this summer, I would not be surprised if he returned and stayed in Finland for 6-8 years while his kids get through high school. Only then would I think he might become serious about an NHL coaching stint.

  16. FanSince1969 says:

    Any news on if SJ granted permission to Habs for Robinson?

    • Bill J says:

      Aren’t you the one that broke the news yesterday?

      Go Habs Go!

    • Maritime Ronn says:

      Perhaps you missed this…..

      Larry Robinson:

      May 21st-2014.

      ” San Jose Sharks give Larry Robinson front-office position”

      Robinson agreed to a new 3-year deal Wednesday that will make him the team’s director of player development.
      While he will retain the coaching spot he has held the past two seasons, the plan calls for him to spend less time behind the bench.

      In his new role, Robinson will not be with the Sharks on every trip next season, and he expects to be spending more time in Worcester with San Jose’s AHL affiliate.

      Robinson will spend even less time behind the bench in the final two years of his new contract. Starting with the 2015-16 season, he said he will focus more on San Jose’s AHL affiliate in Worcester and use his home in Florida (no State Income Tax) as his base.

      • FanSince1969 says:

        Wait, so you think that since people have a job, they can’t apply for another one? Gallant had a job. McGuire had a job when he applied for GM roles.

        • Maritime Ronn says:

          In the NHL, teams rarely allow for lateral moves, yet will give permission for promotions, such as an assistant to a head coach.

          McGuire is nothing less that a Joke or wannabee.
          His applications for a GM job are and always have been bogus media fodder.
          He NEVER had a chance at any NHL GM job regardless of what his media buddies said or printed.

          Take THAT to the bank!

  17. HabsChris says:

    It’s still just a draft pick, not even a material player. Don’t even know if any of the players skills will translate to the NHL.

  18. jols says:

    Any chance Alex Tuch will still be available when we pick?

  19. HabsChris says:

    Would you Tinordi+the 26th pick+ ? (A good forward prospect) for the pick? To bad Colberg was traded. That might have worked perfect.

  20. HabsChris says:

    Can you imagine Ekblad and Subban as the top pairing(maybe not this year, but next) Followed by Markov-Georges and then we have a ton of players to fill the bottom pairing.

    • ProHabs says:

      We really should have tanked this year.

      • piper says:

        should tank this year.

        • Bill J says:

          Careful, HardHabits will drag out his tank avatar if his HIO detector advises him of multiple “tank” references.

          Go Habs Go!

          • HardHabits says:

            The Tank-O-Meter™ has registered some activity on HIO but not enough to warrant a Tank™ avatar submission.

            Carry on with the line combos, assistant coach, trade and signings speculation. Leave the Tank Talk™ to the Tank-Professor™.

          • PK says:

            Tanks for that sentiment.
            Habs are more fun to watch when heading to the playoffs

            >>>> Les Canadiens sont là
            _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _

            “Une équipe de hockey sur glace de l’île de Mont-Royal va gagner la Coupe de Lord Stanley à 24 reprises dans le 20e siècle et trois fois au cours du 21e siècle.”

            – Nostradamus, 1552

        • ProHabs says:

          And the year after that.

    • Un Canadien errant says:

      Well, P.K. and Aaron Ekblad are both righties, and Andrei and Josh are both lefties, so I have a hard time imagining that.

  21. HabsChris says:

    What would it take to get the first overall pick from Florida? Emelin + Habs 26th pick + ? For it?

  22. Maritime Ronn says:

    hi toinz

    The Hawks can live with Toews and Shaw (hurt in playoffs) down the middle, yet they are still very thin after that.

    Where there’s a will, there’s a way.
    Now some may think this to be impossible, yet rest assured the Hawks are looking at all their options – and 1 ‘may’ include a Compliance Buyout of…Marian Hossa.

    Hossa will turn 36 this season, yet much more important is that he still has 7 MORE years of a $5.275M Cap Hit and a total of $24M in Salary.

    Hossa’s last 5 years of goal production show 24-25-29-17(48 game sched.)-30 goals.
    His 2 playoff goals in 19 games was disappointing.

    The bigger problem for Chicago is next year when Toews and Kane need to be signed.

    If Malkin and Crosby are worth Cap Hits of $9.5M and $8.7M respectively, then Toews and Kane have to be in the same neighborhood…and that will cause even more problems for the Hawks next year with a Hossa long term contract.

    Kesler has 2 more years at $5M.
    Spezza has 1 more year at $7M.
    …Desharnais has 3 more years at $3.5M

    • toinz says:

      Hello Ron

      I mentioned Chicago because they are in a cap crunch situation after next season.

      That being said, I don’t think Chicago buys out Hossa without either trying to trade him first or without having a suitable replacement lined up.

      Losing Hossa means that after Kane Toews and Sharp, the Hawks don’t have much else to work with up front. I don’t think Shaw Bickell and Saad are gonna cut it.

      Eller represents an option because he wont cost them a lot of money, is excellent with the correct wingers, and can backcheck.

      I don’t think the Hawks can afford a Kesler or a Spezza, not in tradeable assets or in cap space.

      St Louis can. Anaheim can. But teams like the Hawks cannot. Bergevin should capitalise.

      • Maritime Ronn says:

        We agree.
        They will be interesting to follow once the Toews/Kane deals are done.

        They are SO fortunate that they don’t have to deal with:
        Duncan Keith: $5.5 for the next 9 years
        Seabrook: $5.8 for the next 2 years.

        Then the absolute steal:
        27 year old Niklas Hjalmarsson for the next 5 years at $4.1M.

  23. WVHabsfan says:

    Hey Freddy is Les Gloieux pronounced The Glory in English?

  24. jols says:

    I hear Ogie Ogilthorpe has been living in semi-seclusion in Northern Quebec ever since the Poodle incident. Maybe the Habs can get him to fill the assistant coach position?

  25. Phil C says:

    @ M. Ronn

    Your comment on the previous page about DD’s horrible production on the PP is yet a other example of how Therrien has a huge offensive blindspot. He stubbornly stuck with DD despite all the evidence to the contrary. I like DD on the first line 5-on-5, but he would have been 5th on the depth chart for me on the PP.

    This is why it will be critically important to find an assistant coach who can run the offense, including the PP.

    • Maritime Ronn says:

      Hi Phil

      I do not dislike DD as he is a character guy – and he surely doesn’t beg for PP time, yet any PP Unit needs their best, big stud center that can control and protect a puck, win battles, and go to the net and score.
      A 1-dimensional passer makes adjustments easy for the opposition over time once they figure that out.

      Galchenyuk needs to be given that opportunity, as does Eller on a 2nd Unit.

      It’s time!
      Here’s not comparing Galchenyuk to MacKinnon-Barkov, or Monahan with Calgary, yet those young guys drafted just last year were given more overall, and more PP minutes than Galchenyuk…

  26. fastfreddy says:

    Could use some help and clarification, is the Draft on Fri. night and then Sat. day or does it go just on Sat.? What times????

    CH = Les Glorieux!!!

  27. toinz says:

    With several teams looking for a 2nd line center, and many of them not having much cap room (ie Chicago), I dont see Jason Spezza at 7 million being an option, and while Kesler is worth 5 million dollars on the cap, some teams might not be able to afford it in their cap.

    An affordable 2nd centre is Lars Eller. I wonder if Bergevin might trade Eller instead of the oft-rumored Plekanec. If that brings in the piece he wants, I don’t see Bergevin holding back.

    • fastfreddy says:

      What would be a good return for Eller?

      CH = Les Glorieux!!!

      • Mike D says:

        Jaroslav Halak, apparently. 😛

        To be honest, I don’t think Eller on his own would get much of a return. Probably a player with potential who hasn’t really “proven” too much yet, and probably a player with size as well who is roughly the same age. Any potential trading partner, even one who genuinely believes he’ll become a top 6 center, is likely to use his inconsistency and long cold streaks as reasons to not offer a good return.

        I like Larry and hope we keep him, but at 25 years old, he needs to start realizing his potential if he ever wants to be more than a 3rd line checking center.

        – Honestly yours
        Twitter: @de_benny

        • toinz says:

          I think Eller is worth more than that, particularly after a rather productive playoff run.

          He would fetch a 2nd rounder easily. Heck Troy Brouwer was traded for a FIRST round pick. He can also bring back a winger that would fit better on Montreal’s second line alongside Plekanec and Galchenyuk, or maybe someone who can play next to DD or Pacioretty. Montreal can always add to sweeten the deal.

          I think with the logjam at centre next year, and Plekanec playing pretty well for his salary, particularly defensively, trading Eller to get a 2nd line winger shouldn’t be fully counted out.

    • piper says:

      The Habs are small enough down the middle without giving up on Eller.
      They need to move Plek or DD and move on with the program of getting bigger.

    • olematelot says:

      The Habs are one of the 10 teams on Spezzas no trade to list. I’d be surprised if Eller was traded.

      • Mike D says:

        Spezza left both Montreal and Toronto OFF of his no-trade list as he knows the Sens would never trade him to either team anyway. He essentially turned his 10 team no trade list into a 12 team list.

        I doubt the Sens would trade him to any of the teams in the division to be honest, regardless of whether they’re on Spezza’s no trade list or not.

        – Honestly yours
        Twitter: @de_benny

  28. Maritime Ronn says:

    hi Mavid

    Can’t help you out with “108” with the annual sweater countdown thing just yet.

    As soon as you get to “99, ” it’s game on.

    Believe it or not, Gretzky was not the first player to wear 99 in the NHL.
    3 Habs have worn that number.

    ” Joe Lamb was the first of the three players on the 1934-35 Canadiens, and in hockey, to wear the number 99 sweater.”

    The other 2 were Desse Roche and Leo Bourgault.

  29. Thurston says:

    Apparently, the schedule comes out at 4 p.m. Plan your day accordingly.

  30. Mavid ® says:

    Whooohooo the shedule is out..let the real countdown begin..


    Weed Wacker Grandma Smurf

    • Timo says:

      B for Bouillon is BS. The dude was absolute gold. A+ at the very least with possible #55 retirement ceremony and handing of a torch for sure. Who came up with these grades?

    • habstrinifan says:

      I think it is very interesting that Vanek got a B+. Much higher than commentary here on HIO would have suggested.

      A ‘B+’ player should probably get a more intense effort to retain. Yes/No??

      • HabFab says:

        He was a B during the regular season… not in the play-offs.

        • habstrinifan says:

          I am not sure about my own analysis here. I thought he made an impact in the plaoffs. But I also thought he allowed the ‘demotion’ or Therrien’s tactics to get to him. He could have done more to overcome his disdain for how he was used and with whom.

          I am uncommitted one way or another. But I like his skills and I think he is a good teammate while not a brown-noser.

          Call me myopic re Gionta/Pleks but somehow I don’t see him getting along with Gionta or Pleks for instance. I think he sees them as too much ‘the coaches favourites’.

          That’s just me.

    • DDO_Habs_Fan says:

      I don’t like Bourque but he scored EIGHT goals in the playoffs and he gets an “F”???? C’mon…

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