Report: Golden Knights to name first head coach; expected to be Gallant

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The Las Vegas Golden Knights are expected to name their first head coach on Thursday afternoon, according to various reports including Sin Bin Vegas and News3LV’s Amber Dixon.

Elliotte Friedman and others believe that former Florida Panthers and Columbus Blue Jackets head coach Gerard Gallant will be the guy. At 53, Gallant might fall in the ideal spot for a candidate: experienced but also young enough to put up with the growing pains of coaching an expansion team.

In late March, Golden Knights GM George McPhee stated that he wanted to hire a “progressive” coach. There were rumblings that Gallant clashed with Panthers management regarding analytics vs. traditional approaches, yet “progressive” can mean many things.

“We want someone who is very current on the game, who is progressive on how the game should be played,” McPhee said in a phone call with season ticket holders. “We’re looking for that progressive guy that can really help us through the early years and help develop our team and our players.”

It sounds like we’ll find out if that guy will be Gallant (or someone else) tomorrow.

Update: Even more reports lean toward Gallant.