PANTHERS COACHING STAFF
Gerard Gallant was named the 13th head coach of the Florida Panthers on June 21, 2014.
During his first season behind Florida’s bench, Gallant guided the Panthers to a 38-29-15 record and 91 points, a 25-point improvement from the previous season. The Panthers were eliminated from playoff contention after the 80th game of the 2014-2015 regular season.
Prior to joining the Panthers, Gallant, 50, spent two seasons (2012-2014) as an assistant coach with the Montreal Canadiens, helping the team advance to the postseason each year, including the 2014 Eastern Conference Finals. During his two years as an assistant coach, Montreal posted a 75-42-13 mark, including their first 100-point season since 2007-2008.
Before coaching in Montreal, Gallant spent three seasons (2009-2012) as the head coach of the Saint John Sea Dogs of the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League (QMJHL). During his three seasons with Saint John, he compiled a 159-34-9 record and led the Sea Dogs to three first-place finishes, three league final appearances, two QMJHL championships (2011 & 2012) and one Memorial Cup (2011). Gallant was also named the QMJHL and Canadian Hockey League Coach of the Year twice (2010 & 2011).
Gallant served as head coach of Columbus for parts of three seasons (2003-2004 & 2005-2007), after serving as an assistant with the Blue Jackets (2000-2003). He also was an assistant with the New York Islanders (2007-2009), the International Hockey League’s Fort Wayne Komets (1998-1999) and the American Hockey League’s Louisville Panthers (1999-2000). Gallant began his coaching career in 1995-1996 with the Summerside Capitals of the Maritime Junior Hockey League (MJrHL) leading the team to the Royal Bank Cup in 1997.
A native of Summerside, P.E.I, Gallant was selected by Detroit in the sixth round (107th overall) in the 1981 NHL Draft. He played in 615 NHL games for Detroit (1984-1993) and Tampa Bay (1993-1995) registering 480 points (211-269-480) and 1,674 penalty minutes. Gallant recorded four 70-plus point seasons, including his most successful year in 1988-1989 when he registered a career high 93 points (39-54-93) and was selected as a NHL Second Team All-Star.
Mike Kelly enters his second season as assistant coach of the Florida Panthers.
Kelly, 54, spent the last four seasons working with the Saint John Sea Dogs of the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League, serving as head coach and general manager (2012-2013) and director of hockey operations/associate head coach (2009-2012). Working alongside Gallant, the duo led the Sea Dogs to three first-place finishes, three league final appearances, two QMJHL championships (2011 & 2012) and one Memorial Cup (2011).
Prior to working in Saint John, Kelly spent three years with the Vancouver Canucks organization (2005-2008) as an assistant coach with both the Canucks and the Manitoba Moose (American Hockey League). At the major junior level, Kelly has experience in both coaching and management with the Brandon Wheat Kings (Western Hockey League), North Bay Centennials (Ontario Hockey League) and Windsor Spitfires (OHL).
Kelly also led Team Canada to a gold medal at the 2003 IIHF World Under-18 Championship, serving as head coach. He was also an assistant on Team Canada’s coaching staff at the IIHF World Junior Championship from 2000-2002.
Robb Tallas enters his seventh season as a member of the Florida Panthers coaching staff.
Throughout his 13-year playing career, Tallas appeared in 99 career National Hockey League games with the Boston Bruins (1995-2000) and Chicago Blackhawks (2000-01).
The Edmonton, Alberta native also serves as a hockey instructor at the Florida Panthers official practice facility, Florida Panthers IceDen and has previously worked with several NHL goalies. He also has participated as an instructor at the Panthers goaltending schools, while conducting one-on-one goaltending classes with aspiring goaltenders. Additionally, he serves as an active member of the Florida Panthers Alumni Association.
Strength & Conditioning Coach
Tommy Powers enters his second season with the Florida Panthers after spending two seasons with the Phoenix Coyotes as the team’s Strength and Conditioning Coordinator. Before working in the NHL he worked for Human Dynamix in Calgary, where he provided personal and specialized training for NHL, AHL, NCAA and Major Junior hockey players. Also under his direction were several Olympic, professional, and elite amateur athletes from figure skating, tennis, golf, and skiing.
Prior to joining Human Dynamix, the 29-year-old Powers was a defenseman for the UMass-Lowell Riverhawks of Hockey East from 2006-09. He served as the team’s assistant strength and conditioning coach in 2009.
A native of Ft. Lauderdale, Florida, Powers earned a degree in Exercise Physiology and Nutrition from the University of Massachusetts, Lowell in 2009. His certifications include: CSCS, CES, PES, and Level IV Ki-Hara Resistance Stretching Practitioner by Innovative Body Solutions.
Cruz enters his second season as a Video Coordinator of the Panthers. Cruz previously spent the 2013-14 season with the team interning as an assistant video coach. Cruz played 2 years of junior hockey in the Eastern Junior Hockey League before cutting his playing short to begin working with the team at age 19.