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LAS VEGAS (KXNT) – The Vegas Golden Knights could have the team’s first head coach in the fold sooner rather than later, a move that could happen before the end of the current NHL season, according to a published report.

In an interview published by the Las Vegas Review-Journal Tuesday, team owner Bill Foley said the organization has “accelerated” their timetable for hiring a head coach, dismissing earlier comments he made suggesting the position would not be filled before the end of the 2016-2017 NHL season.

“At this point, I’d say it’s 50-50 we have our head coach in place before the season’s over,” Foley told the paper.

That comment updates remarks made by Foley last year, indicating no final decision on who would be the organization’s first head coach would be made before the NHL regular season concludes in early April.

Foley did not comment on what prompted the reassessment, although it could point to the team zeroing in on a particular candidate now. Speculation suggests the Golden Knights could be talking to former Florida Panthers head coach Gerard Gallant, who was fired by Florida on Nov. 25.

Hiring a head coach under contract could also benefit the team as they head into the league’s expansion draft. The league’s 30 teams must submit their list of available players by June 17, with the Golden Knights selecting from those available players by June 20.

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