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Dale Tallon named Panthers general manager

Tom Rowe won't return as coach, will remain with organization as special adviser

by Alain Poupart / Correspondent

SUNRISE, Fla. -- The Florida Panthers are putting Dale Tallon back in charge of their hockey operation.

Tallon was named general manager in place of Tom Rowe, who will no longer serve as coach, the Panthers announced Monday. Tallon, who will retain his title as president of hockey operations, was GM from 2010-16.

"We're turning the page on a disappointing season," Tallon said at a press conference Monday. "From today, we're moving forward with a singular voice under my leadership in hockey operations. We're going to have one agenda -- and one agenda only -- and that is winning.

"I'm not a title guy. It's not that important to me. It's just important that we have one voice. That's the most important part, and when it's all said and done (decisions are) what's best for the Panthers. It's not about who has the title. It's just a matter of the fact that we will have one voice."

Video: Dale Tallon joins the crew to talk about his new role

Rowe will remain with the Panthers as a special adviser to Tallon. Eric Joyce and Steve Werier will continue as assistant general managers.

Rowe replaced Tallon as GM on May 16. He took over as coach after Gerard Gallant was fired Nov. 28. Rowe went 24-27-10 in 61 games, and the Panthers finished 14 points behind the Toronto Maple Leafs for the second wild card into the Stanley Cup Playoffs from the Eastern Conference.

President/CEO Matt Caldwell said the lack of a clear decision-maker hurt the Panthers.

"Especially with folks with military backgrounds, you'd think we'd get chain of command straight," Caldwell said. "We realized the importance of it. Everything was done with the best intentions. We want to win. We want to look at a lot of things that were out there, a lot of voices, but I think what we learned is that having a singular voice that listens to everything -- listens to analytics, listens to scouts, listens to his gut for many, many years -- and have one single voice that reports to ownership is most important. So we live and learn and still have a lot of great things going on with the company and we're looking forward."

Tallon said the search for a coach will begin immediately and he is targeting the middle of June to make the hire.

Bringing Gallant back will not be a consideration, Tallon said. One candidate who will be interviewed is Geordie Kinnear, who coached the Panthers' American Hockey League affiliate in Springfield.

"It's going to be an extensive search," Tallon said. "We're looking to find the right voice for the room, the right coach to teach our young players, our young core, and help us take us to the next step, which is ultimately to win the Stanley Cup.

"I'm excited about our future. I think we've got a quick fix here ahead of us and I'm looking forward to that challenge."

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