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Gallant named head coach of Vegas Golden Knights

Florida Panthers v Arizona Coyotes

GLENDALE, AZ - OCTOBER 25: Head coach Gerard Gallant of the Florida Panthers watches from the bench during the NHL game against the Arizona Coyotes at Gila River Arena on October 25, 2014 in Glendale, Arizona. The Coyotes defeated the Panthers 2-1 in overtime. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

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The Vegas Golden Knights made it official today, announcing Gerard Gallant as the first head coach in franchise history.

In a statement, Vegas GM George McPhee called Gallant “an experienced head coach” who’s “had success at multiple levels and has a great reputation amongst the players who have played for him.”

Vegas wanted an experienced bench boss, and Gallant certainly qualifies. He’s twice served as a head coach in the NHL, first in Columbus and most recently with the Florida Panthers, who fired him earlier this season.

“Being named the first head coach in Vegas Golden Knights history is such a tremendous opportunity and one I am extremely grateful for,” said Gallant. “There is a great deal of excitement in the hockey community regarding what is happening with the Golden Knights and I am glad to now be a part of the team.”

Gallant was a Jack Adams Award finalist last season.