Gerard Gallant sits down for an interview, and you have so many questions for the coach of the Vegas Golden Knights: What will he say in his speech to set the tone for the team's first training camp? What's the lineup going to look like opening night? How good can this expansion team be in its inaugural season? But Gallant doesn't have many answers, and the biggest takeaway is that he doesn't seem concerned. The speech? "I'm not a big talker," Gallant said before a public skate at the Salt Lake City Sports Complex on Saturday, the final day of the Golden Knights Road Trip. "I'll probably tell the guys, 'Listen, let's come in here, let's work hard and let's have fun. Make sure you're ready to earn your spot on the team. It's a brand-new franchise and we want to get better every day.' It won't be a long speech." The lineup? Sure, he has been jotting down line combinations and defense pairings since the NHL Expansion Draft on June 21. But he has an open mind, wants internal competition and has difficult decisions to make, especially on defense, where the Golden Knights have too many players and likely will keep eight on the 23-man roster. He and his coaches will spend the next three weeks meeting in Las Vegas, going over systems and personnel, making a systems tape to show the players. But they won't spend a lot of time on projected lineups. It'll work out in seven preseason games. Gallant was an assistant for Canada at the 2017 IIHF World Championship, and it was like coaching an expansion team in the sense that the players came from other NHL teams and had to play as a unit.
Gallant thinks Golden Knights can ‘win and compete consistently’ during inaugural season
NHL.com | Aug 21