Fans, bookmakers react to Golden Knight's first head coach - FOX5 Vegas - KVVU

Fans, bookmakers react to Golden Knight's first head coach

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Vegas Golden Knights head coach Gerard Gallant, right, looks on as majority owner Bill Foley introduces the team's first ever head coach on April 13, 2017. (Robbie Hunt/FOX5) Vegas Golden Knights head coach Gerard Gallant, right, looks on as majority owner Bill Foley introduces the team's first ever head coach on April 13, 2017. (Robbie Hunt/FOX5)
HENDERSON, NV (FOX5) -

At Brando's Sports Bar on Blue Diamond, it's playoff hockey season. Thursday night, patrons could hear fans at the Chicago Blackhawks bar yelling for players to shoot while watching the team take on the Nashville Predators in the first round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs.  

But the Blackhawks aren't the only team the hockey fans are talking about.

"I'm excited to have a team here, this town will embrace hockey," 'Chicago' Mike McHugh said, while wearing a Blackhawks jersey and a helmet topped with a siren. 

The excitement came after the Vegas Golden Knights named Gerard Gallant the franchise's first ever head coach. 

"Well they had their pick of a lot of coaches, so I hope they picked the right one," McHugh said. "He's an experienced coach ... I think it's going to be great."

It was a similar reaction at the South Point Sportsbook.

"He seems to be a very solid coach, the reputation to work well with young players; he has a winning record even though he coached the Columbus Blue Jackets, a young franchise," Bookmaker Chris Andrews said. "I think he has the resume to do a good job."

But Andrews said a good NHL coach doesn't change much when it comes to setting a team's odds. That's because hockey coaches, even successful ones, are canned so often. That includes Gallant, who was fired from his last job with the Florida Panthers. 

"He got a quick hook from Florida, probably unfair, but that's kind of the culture of the NHL."

Still hockey fans said they're optimistic that it won't be long until the Golden Knights, soon to be lead by Gerard Gallant, are taking the playoff ice. 

"Give em a year baby, one year, maybe two!" McHugh said with a laugh. 

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