© Canadian Press photo
Saint John Sea Dogs head coach Gerard Gallant shouts in this May 19, 2012 file photo in Shawinigan Que.
From NHL.com: According to several media reports Florida Panthers general manager Dale Tallon received permission this morning from the Montreal Canadiens counterpart to speak with Canadiens assistant coach Gerard Gallant about the Panthers' vacant coaching position.
Gallant, a native of Summerside, P.E.I., left Montreal for South Florida on Sunday, according to RDS, but the request for permission from Marc Bergevin to negotiate with Gallant came from Tallon earlier today.
Tallon fired interim coach Peter Horachek at the end of the regular season after the Panthers went 26-36-4. Horachek had replaced Kevin Dineen on Nov. 8.
Gallant coached the Columbus Blue Jackets for 142 games from the 2003-04 season to 2006-07, compiling a record of 56-76-6 with four ties. Gallant has been an assistant coach for the past two seasons after coaching the Saint John Sea Dogs of the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League.
In three seasons with the Sea Dogs, Gallant led them to the QMJHL final three times, winning the league title twice and winning the Memorial Cup in 2011. The Memorial Cup tournament MVP in 2011 was Jonathan Huberdeau, now a top forward for the Panthers.