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With ‘great ability to work with young players,’ Gallant takes over promising Panthers

Jun 23, 2014, 11:45 AM EDT

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Gerard Gallant was introduced as the new head coach of the Florida Panthers today.

We’d like to say it was a riveting press conference with all sorts of interesting quotes coming out of it; alas, it wasn’t. General manager Dale Tallon lauded Gallant for his honesty, integrity and fun-loving attitude. He said Gallant has a “great ability to work with young players,” and that the Panthers have “a lot of young players that need this kind of coach.”

Likewise, Gallant was excited at the opportunity to be a head coach in the NHL again, and he thinks that Florida, loaded with young prospects, has a bright future.

If you didn’t get to see it yourself, don’t worry, you didn’t miss anything shocking.

But today’s predictable press conference aside, the Panthers are indeed a team to watch this offseason, starting this week when nobody would be shocked if they traded their first overall pick, and then a few days later in free agency when their new owner’s wallet could be put to serious use.

And if Florida can add some useful veterans to its mix of blue-chip prospects (Jonathan Huberdeau, Nick Bjugstad, Aleksander Barkov, etc.), it could also be a team to watch next season. Remember that the Panthers have Roberto Luongo now, and that below-average goaltending was one of the big reasons they struggled so badly in 2013 and 2013-14.

Related: Huberdeau ‘excited’ to be reunited with junior coach Gallant

  1. notan9ner - Jun 23, 2014 at 12:09 PM

    Florida, you wont win but its an easy pay and comes with a tan

    • hubeydubeydoo11 - Jun 23, 2014 at 2:24 PM

      Dude you know nothing about the panthers future…They do have a bright future and once they get a team that wins consistently on the ice fans will showup. Theyre a team to watch in the coming years with Tallon calling the shots as GM. Would rather him than Garth Snow any day to improve my team

  2. trbowman - Jun 23, 2014 at 12:20 PM

    Re-sign the very underrated Tom Gilbert, for one.

  3. rsmaggiemae - Jun 23, 2014 at 2:43 PM

    Living in Minny, we would gladly take one of our hometown boys off your hands in a heartbeat
    i was so upset that the Wild didnt draft Bjustad to begin with, what a huge mistake, maybe in a few years when he becomes a UFA. he will want to come back home….. I can just pray that this happens to enhance the Wild team and then he can play along side Haula just like the old days at the Univ of Minn ..
    Good luck to the fans in FLA

  4. endusersolutions2013 - Jun 23, 2014 at 5:36 PM

    Left out Pirri and Hayes in te list of young players with a good future. letting go of those two and Olsen was a major mistake as far as most Hawks fans are concerned.

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