Gerard Gallant and Mike Kelly, of l’île-du-Prince-Édouard in Las Vegas
Photo: David Zalubowski Associated Press
The duo Gerard Gallant (left) and Mike Kelly is still working in concert, this time with the Golden Knights of Las Vegas.
When Gerard Gallant and Mike Kelly were searching for a job during the 2008-2009 season of the NHL, they met once a week for lunch in their home province of Île-du-Prince-Édouard.
When a position became available at the Sea Dogs of Saint John, they are quickly joined them.
“I called him by asking : “are you Going to apply ?”, and he replied : “It is already done,” said Kelly. I sent my own roadmap. Our interviews were the same day, then we went there together, in the car. They got in first, me in second. “
Gallant became the head coach of the Sea Dogs and Kelly, their director-general. Led by Jonathan Huberdeau, they were champions of the QMJHL for four seasons in a row, winning the Memorial cup in 2011.
The duo is still working together, this time with the Golden Knights of Las Vegas, that are preparing to make their debuts in the NHL. Gallant is the coach, and Kelly, his assistant.
Gallant, of Summerside, has left St. John in June 2012, and then being hired as an assistant with the Montreal canadiens. Kelly, a four-season, remained with the Sea Dogs.
They have returned in 2014, after the Florida Panthers chose Gallant as head coach. The latter was not slow to bring Kelly on board.
The two men were dismissed last year, when the Panthers showed a record of 11-10-1.
“I think we have done a wonderful job there, said Gallant. Then, the opportunity with the Knights has presented, and it was a great opportunity to give a shout to Mike. I am pleased to be able to count on him. It seemed only natural to go look for it to support me. “
“I find myself lucky for the turn of things, said Kelly. I hope to get the maximum. “
The Golden Knights will not have an easy task. They had to build their training from scratch, starting with the expansion draft held in June.
Gallant has experience in such a situation. He was an assistant and then head coach with Columbus in 2000-2001, the first season of the Blue Jackets in the national hockey League. This experience is probably going to be useful sooner or later, said Gallant.
“Everything is new, with a club expansion,” he recalls. I’m sure I’ll see many of the same things we have seen in Columbus. But at the same time, these beginnings are very exciting. I am convinced that we are going to build a team very exciting Vegas. “
The other assistants Gallant are Ryan McGill and Ryan Craig.
The Knights will begin the regular season at Dallas and Glendale, on 6 and 7 October, before playing his first game at T-Mobile Arena on October 10 against the Coyotes.