Eat like the French, drink like the British, and play basketball like C.J. McCollum, because he’s unbelievably good at this sport. The Portland Trail Blazers’ costar rattled off 27 points in the first half in a blistering performance, keeping Portland with the Golden State Warriors step for step in the two team’s first 24 minutes of postseason play and leaving the game tied at 56 at halftime.
“We are proud to announce Gerard as the first head coach in Vegas Golden Knights history,” said Golden Knights general manager George McPhee said . “He is an experienced head coach, has had success at multiple levels and has a great reputation amongst the players who have played for him. We undertook a very detailed due diligence process over the last several months and canvassed a number of qualified head coaching candidates to ensure we found the best coach for our group. And we believe we have found that coach in Gerard.
“We look forward to working with him to build a team that our fans and our community are proud to support.”
Gallant was not out of a head coaching job for long, as he was fired in November from the Florida Panthers organization over differences in team direction. The 53-year-old led the Panthers to a franchise-best 47 wins and 103 points in the 2015-16 season, earning him a nomination for the NHL’s coach of the year award.
The former Panthers’ coach wasn’t the only man on the market for Vegas. Over the course of the last few months, Claude Julien, Ken Hitchcock, Lindy Ruff, Darryl Sutter, Michel Therrien, and Jack Capuano were all made available. Of course, Julien was picked up by the Canadiens and Hitchcock is going to Dallas, but it’s been quite the glut of choices.
Vegas team owner Bill Foley said on a radio show yesterday that the new head coach will be “flexible” and “responsive” to the team’s needs.
In 328 NHL games coached across the Blue Jackets and Panthers, Gallant has a 152-140-31 record.