SAINT JOHN, N.B.- The Saint John Sea Dogs head coach is leaving for the N.H.L.

The Montreal Canadiens have announced Gerard Gallant as one of their new assistant coaches.

Wayne Long is president of the Sea Dogs. “When somebody like Gerard Gallant comes to your organization, and he came to us at the start of year four, we knew it would be a limited time”, says Long. “We’re thrilled that we had the opportunity to work with Gerard for three years”.

Long says the team is thrilled for Gallant, adding he and Associate Coach Mike Kelly deserve a lot of credit for helping to lift up a slumping franchise when they joined the team more than three years ago.”We had just got beat out in the first round against Cape Breton and I don’t think we had a real good feel about ourselves and where we were going as an organization .  They brought us a culture of winning”.

Gallant coached the Sea Dogs to consecutive appearances in the Memorial Cup including one national championship.

Long says they plan to talk with Kelly about the head coaching position.