The Florida Panthers have officially announced what was reported last week — GM Dale Tallon has been moved into his new role as president of hockey operations, and assistant GM Tom Rowe has been promoted to the head role.
“This is a great day for the organization as it ensures continuity within the hockey operations department,” Panthers owner Vinnie Viola said in a statement. “I have the utmost confidence in Dale’s vision and leadership and this group’s ability to build on this year’s playoff appearance and make the Panthers a Stanley Cup contender for years to come.”
To “ensure continuity,” it appears as though Tallon will spearhead a hockey ops department now comprised of Rowe and his new assistants, Eric Joyce and Steve Werier.
Previously, Joyce had been working as the club’s vice president, AGM and general manager of the club’s AHL affiliate in Portland (a role he will maintain).
Werier had previously served as VP of legal and business affairs. He’ll retain with his legal affairs duties.
So that’s the new hierarchy in Florida, which leaves the question — how will it all work?
It’s a big shift for Tallon, who’s been the GM in Florida for six years. He was nominated for GM of the Year in 2012, led the club to its best-ever regular season this year and recently signed a three-year contract extension, which makes it hard to think he’ll simply fade to black in a higher executive role.
As such, it’ll be interesting to see how Rowe will work in his new role. He’s been a jack-of-all-trades within the organization — heck, he coached AHL San Antonio after Peter Horacheck was promoted to the parent club in ’13 — and it seems Viola and company were keen to give Rowe a more prominent position within the front office.
The Panthers will conduct a conference call at 12 p.m. ET, presumably to address some of these questions. PHT will have more following the call.
Here’s some insight into the new front office structure, per the Florida Sun-Sentinel:
“It’s all good,” Tallon told the Sun Sentinel Monday morning. “Now I could focus on what I need to focus on, which I’m good at, scouting, development and mentoring. I don’t have to deal with that other stuff so it’s going to benefit everyone.”
The other stuff Tallon was referring to was contract negotiations, salary cap issues and the analytical aspects of hockey statistics. Tallon did say that everything will be, “done by committee,” and he included himself, co-owners Vinnie Viola and Doug Cifu, Rowe as well as Eric Joyce and Steven Werier,
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