Bill Foley paid $500 million to get the Vegas Golden Knights into the NHL as an expansion team, and thus has some expectations for his investment. Like making the playoffs within three years. Like winning the Stanley Cup within eight years.
So now that the Knights have their first head coach in Gerard Gallant, when are they going to be winners?
“I’m not even going there,” said Gallant, former coach of the Florida Panthers, who was introduced on Thursday at T-Mobile Arena. “We have one player right now.”
Keeping those expectations in check is easy when you’re Gerard Gallant. He’s worked for an expansion team before, as an assistant coach with the Columbus Blue Jackets in 2001. He eventually became the head coach there from 2003-07, before he was fired.
“Was I ready to be a head coach? I’m not sure,” said Gallant.
But he learned from it. Then in 2014, Panthers GM Dale Tallon came calling and made him their new head coach. Decisions he felt uneasy making in his first stop were now confident calls. He was a better communicator, a better game manager and had a better handle on what the culture of a successful team should look like.