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Gerard Gallant announced as head coach of the Florida Panthers

The Habs have lost an assistant coach as Gerard Gallant will be moving on to coach the Florida Panthers.

Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

The Florida Panthers have announced that former Habs assistant coach Gerard Gallant will be their next head coach.

Gallant has previously been a head coach in the NHL, guiding the Blue Jackets to a 56-76-6 record his three-year tenure back in 2004.

This is not the first time Gallant has been employed with the Panthers; he was an assistant coach in their AHL affiliate during the 1999-2000 season.

He's a two-time CHL Coach of the Year, and has who won a pair of QMJHL championships and one Memorial Cup as head coach of the Sea Dogs.

Gallant has spent the last two seasons as the assistant coach to Michel Therrien with the Montreal Canadiens, running the forward lines both years, and the powerplay in 2012-13, though apparently not running the powerplay last season.

It was clear from behind the scenes video and watching the bench during games that Gallant had a very good rapport with the Habs players in his two years here, and while that may be difficult to replace, this could be an opportunity for the Canadiens to bring in a more focused tactician to augment Michel Therrien's system and create a better possession club, as Gallant seemed to be more of a motivator type.

The decision in Florida apparently came down to Dan Bylsma and Gerard Gallant, with the former being too expensive for the cash strapped Panthers.