FEATURE: The Rise of Tom Rowe, Part 2

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Welcome to part 2 of a 2 part selection about the new head coach and general manager of the Florida Panthers Tom Rowe. Part 1 is right here:


Here we go:


On November 8, 2013 the Florida Panthers fired head coach Kevin Dineen. Dineen went out after the Panthers started their dismal 2013-14 season with a horrible 3-9-4 record. The Panthers named their AHL Head Coach Peter Horacheck to be the team’s interim coach. That left San Antonio with a coaching vacancy. They hired Rowe to fill that vacancy. The Rampage had been 4-6-1 that season under Horacheck. San Antonio would go 26-31-8 under Rowe in 2013-14. The Panthers would keep Rowe for the 2014-15 season with the Rampage where he finally delivered. The 2014-15 Rampage would go 46-25-8 and won their division. But they were swept 3 games to 0 by Oklahoma City in the 1st round. The Panthers had switched AHL affiliates, so Rowe packed his bags and went to Portland. He only coached 30 games in the 2015-16 season for Portland going 17-12-1.


Rowe began his rise in the NHL on New Year’s Day 2016. The Panthers gave contract extensions that day to Then-GM Dale Tallon and to Then-Coach Gerard Gallant. Rowe was named assistant GM. Rowe’s promotion would go under the radar but not for long.


In May 2016, the Panthers promoted GM Dale Tallon to President of Hockey Operations and named Tom Rowe the GM. The Panthers began to rebuild the defense. He started off by trading Defenseman Erik Gudbranson and a 5th round pick to Vancouver in exchange for 20-year old Forward Jared McCann, a 2nd round pick and a 4th round pick. Dmitry Kulikov was also traded. Willie Mitchell retired and Brian Campbell left in Free Agency. In were Keith Yandle, Jason Demers, Mark Pysyk and prospect Mike Matheson.


Gerard Gallant was fired due to philosophical differences after a loss to Carolina on November 27, 2016. Rowe would step in as interim head coach.