Vegas buzzing about Golden Knights, Gallant says

The team is drafted, the date for training camp is set and head coach Gerard Gallant is getting ready for the upcoming NHL season.

Summerside's Gerard Gallant ready for Golden Knights' inaugural NHL season

Las Vegas head coach Gerard Gallant told CBC News: Compass he's looking forward to the team's inaugural season. (CBC)

The team is drafted, the date for training camp is set and head coach Gerard Gallant is getting ready for the upcoming NHL season.

Gallant, a native of Summerside, P.E.I., became the Las Vegas Golden Knights first head coach on April 13. Last week, he spoke with CBC News: Compass about the expansion draft, the challenge of preparing a new team, and Las Vegas as a host city.

The draft

The expansion draft went much better than expected, Gallant said.

"I thought we got more top end players than I thought we were going to have."

Summerside's Gerard Gallant was named the Golden Knights' first head coach on April 13. (John Locher/Associated Press)

He doesn't think it will be tough to build chemistry between Vegas's 30 new players. NHL players get used to each other pretty quickly, he said.

"I just finished coaching with Team Canada and the world championships. We put that team together in three weeks."

Arena is 'gorgeous'

Bringing the NHL to Las Vegas has been a long process, but Gallant believes it'll be a great city for players and fans. 

"The arena down there is gorgeous," Gallant said. "It's going to be a lot of fun and the ownership put a lot of work into it."

The Golden Knights will play their first game in Dallas against the Stars on Oct. 6. (

Gallant said he's looking forward to training camp, which begins Sept. 14, and the season-opener Oct. 6 against the Dallas Stars.

"There is a really good buzz down there in Vegas," he said.

With files from CBC News: Compass