Gerard Gallant, seen here during his time coaching the Saint John Sea Dogs of the QMJHL, is looking forward again to working with young players, this time as the new bench boss of the Florida Panthers. (Jacques Boissinot/Canadian Press/File)

For the second time in his coaching career, Summerside's Gerard Gallant will be the head coach of an NHL team.

This time around, he's coaching the Florida Panthers. Previously, he coached the Columbus Blue Jackets.

Most recently, Gallant was an assistant with the Montreal Canadiens.

He's optimistic about the Panthers' future.

"It's definitely a young team and I've had good experience in the past working with junior players," said Gallant.

At the major junior level, Gallant was coach of the Saint John Sea Dogs, which won the QMJHL championship twice, including a Memorial Cup win in 2011.

In Florida, Gallant will be reunited with forward Johnathan Huberdeau, a player he coached in Saint John.

Gallant feels there's a strong young core of players to build the team around.

"We've had a lot of high draft picks the last number of years, so there's some really good young talented players here," he said.

Gallant played in the NHL from 1985 to 1995. His first eight seasons were with the Detroit Red Wings, and he played his last two years with the Tampa Bay Lightning.

He played 615 NHL games in all, registering 211 goals and 269 assists. He also racked up 1,674 penalty minutes.