Who is Tom Rowe? The question has been on many Panthers fans minds for the past year? I will tell you who he is. Here we go:
Tom Rowe was born on May 23rd, 1956 in Lynn, Massachusetts.
Rowe decided to play pro hockey. In 1976 both the now defunct WHA and the NHL drafted him. He was drafted 20th overall by the Winnipeg Jets of the WHA and 37th overall by the Washington Capitals of the NHL. Rowe chose the NHL route. Rowe would play 7 NHL seasons. He had mild success in his NHL Career. His most successful season would be by far in 1978-79 when with the Capitals he became the first American born player to score more than 30 goals (31) and had 30 assists for 61 points in 69 games played. Rowe finished 4th on the struggling Capitals team in points (61) and was tied with leading scorer Denis Maruk with 31 goals. Rowe played with Washington (1976-80 & 1981-82); Hartford (1980-81) and Detroit (1982-83). After the successful 1979 campaign, he would end up being sent up and down between the NHL and AHL for a few seasons. Rowe finished with 357 career NHL games played, 85 career goals and 100 career assists which equaled 185 points. He played Right Wing. He also had 615 PIM, including a whopping 190 PIM in 1980-81. His career +/- was -83. He retired in 1984 after spending a year in the AHL.
BEGINNINGS OF HIS MANAGEMENT CAREER
He started his management career in 1991 with the Hartford Whalers as Assistant GM and Director of Hockey Operations. That year the Whalers got rid of former Panthers head coach Kevin Dineen. Rowe came in the year after the Whalers got rid of franchise leading scorer Ron Francis along with Ulf Samuelsson and Grant Jennings as they traded them to Pittsburgh for John Cullen, Zarley Zalapski and Jeff Parker.
EARLY COACHING CAREER
In 2001 he was named the assistant coach of the AHL’s Lowell Lock Monsters in the Carolina Hurricanes organization. After 3 seasons, in 2004 he was promoted to head coach. In 2 seasons with the Monsters he went 76-64-20 leading the team to a 2nd round finish in 2004-05. He also got a 10 game suspension in his first season for starting a bench clearing brawl. When Lowell Lock was purchased by the Devils in 2006, the Hurricanes moved Rowe to their new affiliate in Albany. In 2 seasons with the Albany River Rats as their head coach he went 80-66-14 leading them to two first round finishes. He was then promoted to be the assistant coach of the Carolina Hurricanes. He served as the assistant coach for Carolina for 3 years before he left.
REBUILDING A TEAM AFFECTED BY TRAGEDY
On September 7th, 2011 the Yaroslavl Lokomotiv of the KHL were on a plane. The plane crashed, killing every single player on the team. Only one person on the flight survived, which was the flight engineer. The Lokomotiv decided to play in the Russian Minor League for one year. The next season, Rowe was hired as the team’s new coach when they returned to the KHL the next season.
The Lokomotiv added former NHL players Viktor Kozlov, Niklas Hagman, Staffan Kronwall, Curtis Sanford, Sami Lepisto and Vitaly Vishnevskiy. During the 2012-13 NHL lockout, Dimitri Kulikov (who was a Panther at the time) played on the team until the NHL season started. Ironically, Rowe when he joined the Panthers would end up trading Kulikov.
In 1 season with the Lokomotiv, he finished with a 34-18-0 record.
This concludes Part 1. I will write part 2 tomorrow.