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Ex-Golden Knights coach Gerard Gallant to coach Team Canada

Updated April 28, 2021 - 3:32 pm

Gerard Gallant will be behind the bench again soon.

The former Golden Knights coach was named head coach for Team Canada at the IIHF World Championship on Wednesday.

Gallant will be joined by assistants Mike Kelly and Andre Tourigny for the tournament that runs May 21 to June 6 at Riga, Latvia.

“Gerard and Mike have worked together both at the NHL and junior level and have an understanding of what it takes to compete and win,” Hockey Canada chief executive officer Tom Renney said. ““We believe we have selected a group that will build on each other’s strengths and provide exceptional leadership, with input from (Team Canada general manager) Roberto (Luongo) and the Olympic management group, as our team prepares to compete for a gold medal.”

Gallant led the Knights to the Stanley Cup Final in their inaugural season and earned the Jack Adams Award as coach of the year when Kelly was his top assistant. He was 118-75-20 in two-plus seasons before being fired Jan. 15, 2020.

Since then, Gallant interviewed for head coaching openings with the New Jersey Devils and Washington Capitals but was not hired by either club. He remains a candidate for the job with the expansion Seattle Kraken, according to published reports.

Gallant was an assistant in 2007 and 2017 for Team Canada at the IIHF World Championship, winning gold and silver medals. Canada lost in the gold-medal game in 2017 and 2019, and hasn’t won the tournament since 2016.

Canada opens the tournament against host Latvia and also will face Italy, Finland, Germany, Kazakhstan, Norway and the United States in the preliminary round.

No word on playoffs

Coach Pete DeBoer doesn’t think the Knights will have a lengthy layoff between the conclusion of the regular season and the start of the playoffs.

“I think we’re preparing for a short couple days and then I’m sure the puck’s going to drop on the playoffs,” he said.

The NHL has not announced a start date for the playoffs. The regular season was extended to May 19 for the North Division after multiple games were rescheduled because of COVID-19 protocols.

The Knights are scheduled to play their final game May 12 at San Jose.

The top four teams in each division qualify for the playoffs, with the winner of the first two rounds advancing to the NHL semifinals. Commissioner Gary Bettman said Tuesday the league is prepared to adjust its plans for the postseason while travel restrictions remain in place between the U.S. and Canada.

Krebs’ arrival

Forward Peyton Krebs completed his junior season Tuesday, and Silver Knights coach Manny Viveiros confirmed the 2019 first-round pick will join the minor league club soon.

“Whether it will be on the tail end of our trip here or back in Vegas, I can’t give you any of the details just yet just because I don’t know yet,” Viveiros said.

Krebs led the Western Hockey League’s East Division bubble with 43 points (13 goals, 30 assists) in 24 games and finished on a 23-game points streak. After practicing with the Golden Knights in the postseason bubble last season, Krebs could provide a boost in the NHL playoffs.

“That’s great news for Henderson, great news for us depthwise because you can see with the injuries you’re going to need that depth as we go forward,” DeBoer said.

Contact David Schoen at dschoen@reviewjournal.com or 702-387-5203. Follow @DavidSchoenLVRJ on Twitter.

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