The Florida Panthers are looking for a new head coach.
Tom Rowe will not return as coach of the Panthers next season and he will also not return as general manager.
Dale Tallon, pushed aside by Rowe last spring, was given back his old title of general manager by owner Vinnie Viola on Monday morning.
Tallon will remain president of hockey operations, a title given to him last year in the organization’s front office reshuffling.
Rowe replaced Gerard Gallant behind the Florida bench in November in an interim role, giving up the day-to-day duties of general manager to Tallon, Steve Werier and Eric Joyce while keeping the title of GM.
In a Monday morning meeting, Rowe was apparently told of the changes. According to the Panthers, Rowe will remain in the Florida front office in an advisory role. Rowe is believed to have four years remaining on a contract he signed with the team last year.
“We have the talent to get back on track in a hurry,” Tallon said in a statement released by the team Monday morning.
“This was a difficult year for us, but I think we learned some tough lessons about what it takes to win consistently in the NHL. With a few tweaks to our roster and the right leadership, I’m confident we can get back to contending for the Stanley Cup next season.”
The Panthers ended their 2016-17 season on a high note, winning their final two games with James Reimer shutting out the visiting Buffalo Sabres on Saturday night then blanking the host Washington Capitals on Sunday.
Florida, which set a franchise record with 103 regular season points and an Atlantic Division title in 2016, sank to the bottom of the division this year and ended with 81 points.
“I am confident that we have the necessary talent throughout our organization to win the Stanley Cup,” Viola said in the statement.
“Dale will continue to be our principle leader as we pursue this single goal.”
Tallon will lead the search for Florida’s new coach.
Former Buffalo Sabres head coach and Florida Panthers assistant Lindy Ruff is available after being fired by Dallas on Sunday; former Islanders coach Jack Capuano — who led New York to a first-round upset of the Panthers in the playoffs last year — is also available.
The Panthers are also said to have strong interest in University of Denver coach Jim Montgomery after his Pioneers won the NCAA title over the weekend.
FLORIDA PANTHERS COACHES
Roger Neilson 1993-95
Doug MacLean 1995-97^
Bryan Murray* 1997-98
Terry Murray 1998-2001^
Duane Sutter 2001-2002^
Mike Keenan 2002-2003^
Rick Dudley* 2003-04
John Torchetti* 2003-04
Jacques Martin 2004-2008
Pete DeBoer 2008-2011
Kevin Dineen 2011-2013^
Peter Horachek* 2013-14
Gerard Gallant 2014-2016^
Tom Rowe* 2016-17
(*) — Denotes interim head coach
(^) — Fired during regular season