USATSI_9267966_154158418_lowresThe Florida Panthers have named Tom Rowe as their new general manager and have promoted Dale Tallon to the post of president of hockey operations. Eric Joyce and Steve Werier were named as assistant general managers.

“This is really a formalization of the way we’ve been operating, frankly,” Panthers executive chairman Peter Luukko said. “Dale obviously has been here the longest and has put together this team through the draft and some trades. We believed it was time to formalize the way we’ve frankly been operating. It’s very much a collaborative effort here. With that [salary] cap you really need people with varied specializations. From our standpoint our organization is evolving. We’ve had success and we want to continue that success and strengthen our bench, and put together a first-class organization.”

The suggestion here is that the changes are a matter of semantics, as the Panthers are aiming to be the sort of organization that makes decisions as a unit. But the promotions also suggest that Tallon has the final say and that gives some indication of the hierarchy.

Tallon signed a multi-year contract on January 1 and will see a diminishment in his role on the business end of things. His role overseeing aspects of the operation like scouting and player development will expand.

Tom Rowe was named the associate general manager of the Panthers in January and has been part of the organization since 2013-2014. He was brought in as the head coach of Florida’s AHL affiliate in San Antonio, replacing Peter Horachek.

Prior to that, he served as an assistant coach with the Carolina Hurricanes. He was with the organization when they won the Stanley Cup in 2006. He also coached the KHL’s Lokomotiv Yaroslavl.

In Joyce, the Panthers are continuing the current trend of promoting analytics-minded guys.

“Eric is a bright guy, works with the analytics side of things, the stats,” Rowe said. “But again, it’s only one component that we’re using. It’s supplemental information that we think is important. Dale believes in it. I believe in it. When you’re making decisions in the National Hockey League today, you’re talking about an awful lot of money, and if it helps you limit your mistakes, that’s what we’re going to be using it for.”

The Panthers are coming off a very good year. They won the Atlantic Division and set team records in wins and points before losing to the Islanders in the first round of the post-season. This restructuring may be a solidification of what the organization has already been up to in the front office, but it also stands as a statement of intent in Florida – at least for the foreseeable future.

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