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Florida names Kelly, Morris as Gallant’s assistants


Florida has brought aboard a pair of assistants for new coach Gerard Gallant, hiring Mike Kelly and Mark Morris on Monday afternoon.

“We are pleased to welcome Mike and Mark to our coaching staff,” Panthers GM Dale Tallon said in a statement. “They bring to our club a wealth of hockey knowledge and experience and will be the perfect fit to work together with Gerard, John [Madden, the other assistant] and Robb [Tallas, goalie coach].”

The moves mean that Brian Skrudland, who served last year as an assistant coach, will return to his role as Flordia’s director of player development.

As for Kelly and Morris...the former has ties to Gallant, having coached with him in QMJHL Saint John and winning the Memorial Cup together in 2011. Kelly also has experience behind an NHL bench, having served as Alain Vigneault’s assistant in Vancouver for two seasons.

Morris is best known as the longtime head coach of the Kings’ AHL affiliate in Manchester. He parted ways with the organization in May after eight years on the job, and was lauded by L.A. GM Dean Lombardi for playing a key role in the development of a number of current Kings: Jonathan Quick, Trevor Lewis, Slava Voynov, Alec Martinez, Dwight King, Jake Muzzin, Jordan Nolan, Martin Jones, Tyler Toffoli and Tanner Pearson all played for Morris in Manchester prior to debuting in L.A.