© Brian McInnis/Transcontinental Media Photo
Gerard (Turk) Gallant coaching the Saint Sea Dogs in a Quebec Major Junior Hockey League game against the P.E.I. Rocket at the Charlottetown Civic Centre.
SUMMERSIDE — The Score website is reporting the Florida Panthers are “close” to hiring Summerside native Gerard (Turk) Gallant as head coach.
The Score story was based on a report from Miami Herald reporter George Richards, who indicated negotiatio›ns between Gallant and the Panthers are progressing.
Gallant, who played 615 games in the NHL with the Detroit Red Wings and Tampa Bay Lightning and compiled a record of 56-76-4-6 (won-lost-tied-overtime losses) as head coach of the Columbus Blue Jackets from 2003 to 2006, has spent the last two seasons as an assistant coach with the Montreal Canadiens.
Prior to joining the Canadiens, Gallant coached the Saint John Sea Dogs to back-to-back Quebec Major Junior Hockey League championships in 2011 and 2012. The Sea Dogs also won the 2011 Memorial Cup under Gallant, 50.
Gallant also has previous experience as an NHL assistant coach with the Blue Jackets and New York Islanders.
It’s interesting to note that Panthers forward Jonathan Huberdeau, who was the third overall pick in the 2011 NHL Entry Draft, played for Gallant in Saint John.