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Florida Panthers Announce Multi-Year Contract Extension for GM Dale Tallon and Name Tom Rowe Associate GM

by Staff Writer / Florida Panthers

SUNRISE, Fla. – The Florida Panthers announced today that Executive Vice President and General Manager Dale Tallon has signed a multi-year contract extension. As per club policy, terms of the contract were not disclosed.

Florida also announced that Tom Rowe has been named Associate General Manager. Rowe had been serving as Head Coach of the Panthers’ AHL affiliate, the Portland Pirates this season.

“Dale and Tom bring a wealth of leadership, credibility and hockey experience that will enrich our organization for years to come,” Florida Panthers Owner, Governor and Chairman Vinnie Viola said. “We have benefited tremendously from their expertise already. The success of both our NHL and AHL clubs this season is a direct result of Dale and Tom's leadership and stewardship. With the stability provided by the recent Broward County Commissioners vote, we look forward to continuing to strengthen our team both on and off the ice as we work towards the singular goal of winning the Stanley Cup.”

“We are very pleased that Dale has agreed to sign a multi-year contract extension,” Florida Panthers Executive Chairman Peter Luukko said. “Dale has done an outstanding job building our roster over the last six years. This extension brings added stability to our organization and hockey operations department.”

“Bringing Tom to Florida to complement Dale will solidify our exciting upwards trajectory as a franchise. As everyone around the league knows, the nature and responsibilities of an NHL front office are ever-expanding. With their combined knowledge of the game and business of hockey, Dale and Tom will be able to ensure the future of the Panthers is bright.”

“I want to thank Vinnie Viola and his partner Doug Cifu for the opportunity to continue to build what our hockey operations department has started here in Florida,” Tallon said. “I’m excited for what the future holds for our team with an exciting nucleus of young players along with our mix of veterans.”

Over the last six seasons, Tallon has been responsible for reshaping the club’s hockey operations department, as well as the team’s player personnel. He has drafted two Calder Memorial Trophy winners in Jonathan Huberdeau (2013) and Aaron Ekblad (2015). The Panthers have 10 players on the roster drafted by Tallon and 14 players on the team age 25 or younger.

Among Tallon’s group of highly-regarded draft selections during his tenure are: Erik Gudbranson (3rd overall, 2010), Nick Bjugstad (19th overall, 2010), Huberdeau (3rd overall, 2011), Vincent Trocheck (64th overall, 2011), Michael Matheson (23rd overall, 2012), Aleksander Barkov (2nd overall, 2013), Ekblad (1st overall, 2014) and Lawson Crouse (11th overall, 2015).

In his first two seasons in Florida, Tallon assembled a team that finished the 2011-12 season with a 38-26-18 mark and 94 points – its most since totaling 98 points in 1999-2000 (43-27-6-6). The Panthers earned their first Division title in franchise history and the team’s first playoff berth since 2000. For his efforts, Tallon was selected as a finalist for the NHL’s Executive of the Year.

Last season under Tallon’s leadership the Panthers were the most improved team in the NHL. Florida finished the year with 91 points, a 25-point improvement from its previous season’s total.

This season during the month of December, the Panthers went 11-3-0, recording 22 points to reach first place in the Atlantic Division. Florida’s 11 wins and 22 points marked the club’s highest win and point totals for any month in franchise history, while tying with the Washington Capitals for the month’s league lead in wins. The Panthers ended the month tying a franchise record seven-game win streak and a franchise record five-game home win streak after defeating the Montreal Canadiens 3-1 on Dec. 29.

Tallon was named General Manager of the Panthers on May 17, 2010. He is the ninth GM in Florida history.

Prior to joining the Panthers, Tallon spent 33 years with the Chicago Blackhawks organization as a front office executive, player and broadcast personality. He served as Chicago’s General Manager from June 2005 to July 2009, and assistant GM from Nov. 2003 to June 2005. He was responsible for drafting or acquiring many of the Blackhawks’ top players who won the 2010 Stanley Cup, including Jonathan Toews, Patrick Kane and Marian Hossa.

A defenseman, Tallon was Vancouver’s first-round selection (2nd overall) in the 1970 NHL Entry Draft. He played in 642 NHL contests with Vancouver (1970-73), Chicago (1973-78) and Pittsburgh (1978-80) registering 336 points (98-238-336) and 568 PIM. Tallon recorded a career-high 17 goals in 69 games with Vancouver during the 1971-72 season and appeared in the 1971 and 1972 NHL All-Star Games. In 1972, Tallon was picked as an alternate for Team Canada at the 1972 Summit Series against the USSR.

The Rouyn-Noranda, Quebec native was born on Oct. 19, 1950. Tallon and his wife, Meg, have two daughters, Lauren and Kristen.

As Associate GM, Rowe will work alongside Luukko, Tallon, and Portland Pirates General Manager, Eric Joyce, in supervising all hockey operations matters including the organization’s scouting and player development programs.

Rowe, 59, joins the Panthers front office, which has been without an associate or assistant general manager since March 2014, after a lengthy career as a player, scout, front office executive and, most recently, as the coach of the Portland Pirates.

“I’m honored to begin this new role working alongside Dale Tallon and with the Panthers,” Rowe said. “It’s a very exciting time for the organization and I’m looking forward to being a part of its continued growth and success.”

“Tom and I have known each other for decades and have worked together closely since he first joined our organization,” Tallon said. “He possesses a thorough understanding of our club, having coached many of the young players on our current NHL roster, and worked with our prospects at development and training camps. Together, Tom, Peter and I will work tirelessly to build a champion.”

A former right wing, Rowe was drafted by the Washington Capitals in the second round (37th overall) of the 1976 NHL Entry Draft and played 357 NHL games over parts of nine seasons with the Capitals, Hartford Whalers and Detroit Red Wings, accumulating 185 points (85-100-185). In 1979, Rowe became the first U.S. born player in NHL history to score 30 goals in a single season, notching 31 goals in just 69 games as a member of the Capitals.

In 1991, following his playing career, Rowe joined the NHL’s Hartford Whalers as Director of Hockey Operations and Assistant to the General Manager.

In 1995, Rowe joined the Lowell Lock Monsters organization in the lead-up to the team’s inaugural AHL season. Rowe helped guide the team’s business and hockey operations, serving at various times as the team’s general manager, executive vice president, assistant coach and head coach.

In 2004, Rowe was named head coach of the AHL’s Albany River Rats and led the team to a winning record and playoff appearance in each of his two seasons, including a 43-30-7 record in 2007-08. As the AHL affiliate of the Carolina Hurricanes, Rowe’s name was etched on the Stanley Cup following the Hurricanes’ 2006 championship.

In 2008, Rowe was promoted to assistant coach with the Hurricanes, and helped guide the team to the 2009 Eastern Conference Finals in his first of three seasons with the club.

In 2012, Rowe was hired as head coach of Lokomotiv Yaroslavl in the Kontinental Hockey League (KHL). He led the club to a 34-18-0-0 mark during the 2012-13 regular season, resulting in a playoff berth.

On November 9, 2013, Rowe was named head coach of Florida’s then-AHL affiliate, the San Antonio Rampage. He led the team to a 100-point, 45-win season and a division title, instilling an up-tempo style of play that contributed to the Rampage scoring 248 regular season goals, the second most in the entire AHL (one fewer than the league-leading 249).

A native of Lynn, Mass., Tom Rowe and his wife Bernice are the proud parents of son Jason (an NHL scout) and daughter Kirsten Hatcher, and grandparents of Layla and Maxwell Hatcher.

In addition, the Panthers announced that Portland Pirates assistant coach Scott Allen will take over head coaching duties for the team. The 49 year-old New Bedford, Mass., native has spent the previous three seasons serving as an assistant coach for Florida’s AHL affiliate and is currently in his 20th year of coaching. He began his coaching career as an assistant coach with the Johnstown Chiefs (ECHL) in 1996-97 and was named head coach midway through the 1997-98 season at the age of 31. Allen has previously served as head coach of San Antonio (2002-03, 2003-04) and served as an assistant coach with the New York Islanders (2010-12).

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