Hockey PEI Staff | July 14th, 2021
CHARLOTTETOWN, PE – Just under a month from when the New York Rangers announced Summerside’s Gerard Gallant as their new Head Coach, the club announced Wednesday the addition of Shamrock’s Mike Kelly to their Hockey Operations staff as an Assistant Coach.
Kelly, who just recently assisted Team Canada with the winning of the 2021 IIHF Men’s World Hockey Championship is no stranger when it comes to sharing the bench with Gallant. The duo worked together at the National Hockey League level with two other franchises – The Florida Panthers and the Vegas Golden Knights.
The 61-year-old Kelly began his coaching career in 1988 as an assistant coach with the London Knights of the OHL before working his way into head coaching roles at the OHL, CIS and WHL level with various teams. He would make a short appearance in the AHL in 1993 with the PEI Senators as an Assistant coach but would return to the OHL the next season. It was in 2005 when he returned to the AHL as an assistant coach with the Manitoba Moose. Shortly thereafter, Kelly would go on to join the NHL’s Vancouver Canucks coaching staff in 2006 as an assistant coach.
This was all prior to the pair joining forces and ultimately becoming a package deal. It was in 2010 with the Saint John Sea Dogs of the QMJHL that the relationship truly formed. Kelly was Director of Hockey Operations and Associate Coach with Gallant serving as the team’s head coach. When Gallant moved on to coach with the Montreal Canadiens, Kelly took over as General Manager and Head Coach of the Sea Dogs for two seasons before they reunited in Florida.
Internationally, Kelly has represented Team Canada behind the bench for 7 tournaments, 6 as an Assistant Coach and one as a Head Coach (U18’s) from 2000 to 2021.
Hockey PEI wishes Summerside’s Gerard “Turk” Gallant and Shamrock’s Mike Kelly all the best as they embark on this new journey and challenge in the National Hockey League.
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