Panthers fire coach Gallant after slow start

Updated: 

The Florida Panthers have fired coach Gerard Gallant following an underwhelming start to the season.

The move came after the Panthers lost 3-2 to the Carolina Hurricanes on Sunday, falling to 11-10-1 on the season. The Panthers also fired Mike Kelly, Gallant's top assistant.

Tom Rowe, the team's general manager, will take over as coach on an interim basis for the rest of the season.

Gallant, became a casualty of unprecedented expectations in Florida having led the Panthers to a franchise-best 103 points and an Atlantic Division title in 2015-16, making the cut as a finalist for the Jack Adams Award - presented to the coach "adjudged to have contributed the most to his team's success".

Florida was slow to start this season, Gallant's third with the team, but sat just two points out of the final wild-card spot in the Eastern Conference after Sunday's loss despite injuries to several key forwards, including Jonathan Huberdeau.

"Today is a hard day. Gerard and Mike are good men and talented hockey coaches," president of hockey operations Dale Tallon said in a release on Monday.

"We thank them for their contributions in the community, for their work developing our young players and in helping to turn around the culture."