SUNRISE, Fla. — Dale Tallon is back in his old job, and the Florida Panthers hope that’s the first step toward getting back to the playoffs.
The Panthers reinstated Tallon as general manager on Monday, removing Tom Rowe from both that position and his role as interim coach, one day after a Florida season that began with high expectations ended well short of a postseason berth.
Whenever a new coach gets hired, this much is clear: He’ll be answering to Tallon.
“We’re turning the page on a disappointing season,” Tallon said. “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.”
It’s been a muddled last 12 months for the Panthers, starting with Rowe’s promotion to general manager. Florida revamped its roster in the offseason, making decisions in large part based on analytics. And head coach Gerard Gallant – who was well-liked in the locker room and led Florida to its best regular-season ever in 2015-16 – was fired after 22 games and replaced by Rowe, a former Portland Pirates coach.
In announcing the moves, Panthers owner Vincent Viola said Tallon will have the final say on major matters.
“I am confident that we have the necessary talent throughout our organization to win the Stanley Cup,” Viola said.
Panthers President and CEO Matt Caldwell insisted that Rowe should not take all the blame for the lost season. Rowe is being retained as a special advisor to Tallon, though it’s unclear what that will specifically mean.
KINGS: Los Angeles fired coach Darryl Sutter and general manager Dean Lombardi, who led the franchise to its only two Stanley Cup championships.
The Kings also promoted defenseman Rob Blake to vice president and general manager, while longtime executive Luc Robitaille has been promoted to team president in charge of all hockey and business operations.
Los Angeles won the Stanley Cup in 2012 and 2014, but hasn’t won a playoff round since.
CANUCKS: Vancouver fired Coach Willie Desjardins after missing the playoffs for the second consecutive season.
In three seasons with Vancouver, Desjardins went 109-110-27.