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GM Tom Rowe aims to stay on as Panthers coach: report

Says he intends to keep job at least through end of season @NHL

Tom Rowe said he intends to remain as coach of the Florida Panthers at least through the end of the season, the Miami Herald reported Thursday.

Rowe, the Panthers general manager since May 16, took over as coach after Gerard Gallant was fired Nov. 28.

When asked if he enjoyed coaching, he told the Herald, "I would be lying if I said I didn't."

Rowe said his status as coach would be decided after the season. 

"It will be a group decision," said Rowe, adding that he would be part of those conversations with front office personnel including team president and CEO Matthew Caldwell, owners Vincent Viola and Douglas Cifu and president of hockey operations Dale Tallon.

Cifu told the Herald in January that Rowe would remain as coach through the end of the season and "then we'll see how things shake out."

Rowe confirmed a Herald report that Julien, who was fired by the Boston Bruins on Tuesday, had not been contacted by the Panthers. Because Julien remains under contract with the Bruins, any team would have to ask permission to speak with him about an opening.

Rowe said he texted Julien with words of encouragement after his firing.

"I was probably one of the first guys to text him," he said. "I wrote 'Sorry to hear the news; great coaches like you land on their feet real quick.'

"He's going to be coaching an NHL team next year if he wants to. He's too good a coach. I know him real well, he's a good guy. We have a fraternity."

The Panthers (23-19-10) have won three straight games and enter their home game against the Los Angeles Kings on Tuesday (7:30 p.m. ET; FS-F, FS-W, NHL.TV) in fifth place in the Atlantic Division, three points behind the Philadelphia Flyers for the second wild card out of the Eastern Conference.

Florida is 12-9-9 with Rowe as coach after starting the season 11-10-1 under Gallant.

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