SUNRISE, Fla. — Gerard Gallant wanted the Florida Panthers to play one way, and his bosses wanted another.

As such, they’re not his bosses anymore.

The Panthers cited philosophical differences Monday as the primary reason why they fired Gallant, a coach of the year finalist last season who made it through only 22 games this season. Tom Rowe will essentially take a hiatus from being general manager to fill the coaching spot for the rest of the year, starting with Tuesday’s game in Chicago.

“We wanted to develop a team and build a team that was fast, could move the puck quickly, pressure the puck in all three zones,” Rowe said. “Gerard and I talked about it. He said he wanted a little bit more size, and we just decided to go in a different direction. Were we on the same page every day of the week? No … philosophy was different.”

Florida is 11-10-1, starting Monday only two points out of a playoff spot in the Eastern Conference even after dealing with some serious injuries so far this season.

But the Panthers have simply been mediocre in some areas, including power play (21st out of 30 teams) and penalty killing (19th).

The team’s longest winning streak this season is two, something the Panthers have managed three times. The last straw apparently was how Florida wasted a 2-0 lead in what became a 3-2 loss at Carolina on Sunday night, though the Panthers’ front office had discussions long before that collapse about making a change.

Gallant, 53, compiled a 96-65-25 record in two-plus seasons – his .583 points percentage was highest in Panthers history – and he was runner-up for the Jack Adams Coach of the Year award last season.

He had two more years remaining on his contract.

Rowe, 60, becomes the 14th coach in team history and said he will turn over all general manager duties to former GM turned president of hockey operations Dale Tallon and co-assistant GMs Steve Werier and Eric Joyce.

Rowe coached the Portland Pirates at the start of the 2015-2016 season before he was promoted to the Panthers’ assistant general manager.


ISLANDERS 2, FLAMES 1: Thomas Hickey scored 3:07 into overtime, helping New York win at home.

BLUES 4, STARS 3: Vladimir Tarasenko scored at 3:24 of overtime to lift St. Louis over Dallas in St. Louis.

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