SUNRISE, Fla. -

Gerard Gallant has been introduced as the new coach of the Florida Panthers.

Gallant spent the last two seasons as an assistant with the Montreal Canadiens and saw there how quickly a team's fortunes can turn around. When he joined Montreal, the Canadiens were coming off a season where they finished last in the Eastern Conference.

They won a division title the next season, and topped the 100-point mark in the standings this past season.

He's hoping to work the same magic in Florida, which struggled again last season and hasn't won a playoff series since making a run to the Stanley Cup finals in 1996.

The Panthers were 27 points out of the final playoff spot in the East last season.