Hours after firing head coach Jack Capuano, the New York Islanders have their sights set on a potential replacement.

TSN Hockey Insider Bob McKenzie confirmed an earlier report that the club has permission to speak to former Florida Panthers coach Gerard Gallant.

Gallant - who served as an Islanders assistant coach from 2007 to 2009 - was fired by the Florida Panthers in late November after the defending Atlantic Division champions got off to a slow start to the season.

McKenzie notes that the request for permission came some time ago and not today.

A native of Summerside, Prince Edward Island, Gallant was in his third season as Panthers' bench boss. After leading the Panthers to only their second playoff appearance in 15 seasons, the team fell to the Islanders in the first round of the playoffs last spring. In 184 games as Panthers coach, Gallant amassed a 96-65-25 record.

Prior to his stint with the Isles, Gallant served as bench boss of the Columbus Blue Jackets for portions of three seasons. In 142 games with the Jackets, Gallant posted a 56-77-4-6 record from 2003 to 2007.

Gallant, 53, had a lengthy playing career, as well. He appeared in 615 games over 11 NHL seasons with the Detroit Red Wings and Tampa Bay Lightning.

The Islanders are 17-17-8 through 42 games, last in the Metropolitan Division and Eastern Conference. They trail the Philadelphia Flyers by eight points for the final Eastern Conference wild card.

The team is next in action on Thursday night when they host the Dallas Stars. Assistant general manager Doug Weight will serve as interim head coach.