The Florida Panthers are going to make a coaching change, but they’re going back to Dale Tallon as general manager.
When Gerard Gallant was fired early this season, general manager Tom Rowe came down from the front office to take over as interim head coach of the Florida Panthers. But the results didn’t change all that much, with a 24-27-10 record under Rowe, and the Panthers finished well out of the playoffs after winning the Atlantic Division last year.
On Monday the Panthers officially announced that Rowe will not keep his coaching duties, but will remain with the organization as special advisor to the new general manager. That “new” general manager is Dale Tallon, the Panthers president of hockey operations who served as the team’s general manager from 2010-2016. Tallon will keep his title as team president, and simply resume general manager duties on top of it.
Panthers Chairman and Governor Vincent Viola expressed confidence in the organization’s re-shuffled structure, and Tallon specifically.
"“I am confident that we have the necessary talent throughout our organization to win the Stanley Cup,” Panthers Chairman and Governor Vincent Viola said. “Dale will continue to be our principle leader as we pursue this single goal.”"
The NHL recycles coaches and front office people at a level no other North American pro sports league does. So the Panthers aren’t breaking from the norm by making Tallon general manager again, and keeping Rowe around in a reduced, fancy titled role, even if it comes off as odd in general.
Tallon will now lead the Panthers’ search for a permanent head coach. ESPN’s Pierre LeBrun reported a young up-and-coming coach will be a focus. University of Denver head coach Jim Montgomery, fresh off a national title, may be set to emerge as a top candidate for multiple NHL jobs.