Newspaper article The Canadian Press

NHL PREVIEW: P.E.I. Coaching Duo Set to Coach Expansion Golden Knights

Newspaper article The Canadian Press

NHL PREVIEW: P.E.I. Coaching Duo Set to Coach Expansion Golden Knights

Article excerpt

P.E.I. coaching duo set to coach Golden Knights

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When Gerard Gallant and Mike Kelly were both out of a job during the 2008-09 NHL season, they would meet up once a week for breakfast in their native province of Prince Edward Island.

Different job opportunities were discussed, and they quickly got in touch when an opening with the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League's Saint John Sea Dogs came up.

"I called Turk (Gallant) and I said, 'Are you going to send your resume in?', and he said 'I already did,'" Kelly said. "So I sent mine in and we both got interviews on the same day so we both drove over together. He was interviewed first, I was interviewed second."

Gallant served as the head coach and Kelly as the general manager and associate coach for the Sea Dogs. Along with star players such as Jonathan Huberdeau, the Sea Dogs went on to win four straight QMJHL titles, including a Memorial Cup in 2011.

Fast forward to this season and the duo are still working together, this time with the expansion Vegas Golden Knights. Gallant will serve as the head coach, and Kelly an assistant.

Gallant, from Summerside, left Saint John following the 2011 season to join the Montreal Canadiens as an assistant coach while Kelly, from Kinkora, stayed in Saint John.

The duo reunited in 2014 after Gallant was hired by the Florida Panthers to be their head coach. It didn't take long for Gallant to bring Kelly aboard.

Despite being a finalist for the 2016 Jack Adams Award as NHL coach of the year after Florida won the Atlantic Division, Gallant and Kelly were fired last year after an 11-10-1 start.

"When I got the opportunity to be the head coach with the Florida Panthers, I knew I was going to take Mike along with me right away," Gallant said. "We went there, enjoyed Florida together, I thought we did a good job there.

"And then when we both got fired in Florida at the same time, the Vegas job popped up and it was a good opportunity to bring Mike along with me. …

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