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Florida Panthers name Gerard Gallant as head coach

Photo: (Ryan Remiorz/AP)

Gerard Gallant speaks with Montreal Candiens center David Desharnais during practice

The Florida Panthers have hired Gerard Gallant as head coach, the team announced on Saturday. He replaces interim head coach Peter Horachek, who was fired in April.

Gallant spent the last two seasons as an assistant coach with the Montreal Canadiens. Before that, he was head coach of the Saint John Sea Dogs of the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League. Gallant has also had stints with the Columbus Blue Jackets and the New York Islanders.

“We are pleased to welcome Gerard as the new head coach of the Florida Panthers,” Panthers general manager Dale Tallon said in a statement. “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.”

The Panthers finished with a dismal 29-45-8 record last season.

Gallant spent 11 years in the NHL, playing for the Detroit Red Wings and Tampa Bay Lightning.

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