Maine Hockey Journal

Rowe promoted to Panthers front office; Allen named Pirates head coach

Portland Pirates regular season contest against the Providence Bruins at the Cross Insurance Arena in Portland, Maine on 12/31/2015. (PHOTO: Michael McSweeney/Portland Pirates)

Portland Pirates regular season contest against the Providence Bruins at the Cross Insurance Arena in Portland, Maine on 12/31/2015. (PHOTO: Michael McSweeney/Portland Pirates)

Tom Rowe’s tenure behind the bench of the Portland Pirates will go down as the shortest in franchise history, lasting only several months after Portland’s parent club, the Florida Panthers, announced Friday morning that Rowe was promoted to Associate General Manager of the Panthers.

The move comes as part of a new three-year extension to current Panthers’ General Manager Dale Tallon.

“Dale and Tom bring a wealth of leadership, credibility and hockey experience that will enrich our organization for years to come,” said Florida Panthers Owner, Governor, and Chairman Vinnie Viola. “We have benefited tremendously from their expertise already. The success of both our NHL and AHL clubs this season is a direct result of Dale and Tom’s leadership and stewardship.”

Assistant head coach of the Pirates, Scott Allen, who coached the team last night to a 4-3 win over the Providence Bruins will take over head coaching duties of the team.

Allen, 49, is in the final year of his contract with the Panthers organization, but Pirates’ GM Eric Joyce said he’s expecting to begin the process of working on an extension with Allen shortly.

“This gives Scott a chance to be a head coach, which we knew he wanted,” said Joyce. “We get to keep him because normally when guys want to move up, they have to move out, so this is really a positive move for the organization.”

A search for a new full-time assistant coach is underway with several candidates already on a shortlist.

Pirates’ goaltending coach Pierre Groulx will handle the assistant coaching duties on an interim basis until a new assistant is hired.

“We have some internal and external candidates to consider,” said Joyce. “Scott will have complete say in who he wants to bring in. I trust Scott’s judgment of character and trust his judgment of hockey knowledge.”

Portland Pirates regular season contest against the Springfield Falcons at the Cross Insurance Arena in Portland, Maine on 12/16/2015. (PHOTO: Michael McSweeney/Portland Pirates)

(PHOTO: Michael McSweeney/Portland Pirates)

Allen has spent the previous three seasons serving as an assistant coach for Florida’s AHL affiliate in San Antonio and Portland and is currently in his 20th year of coaching.

He began his coaching career as an assistant coach with the Johnstown Chiefs (ECHL) in 1996-97 and was named head coach midway through the 1997-98 season at the age of 31. Allen has previously served as head coach of San Antonio (2002-03, 2003-04) and served as an assistant coach with the New York Islanders (2010-12).

Rowe became head coach of the Pirates after the Panthers announced a new four-year affiliation agreement last March.

Rowe was named head coach of Florida’s then-AHL affiliate, the San Antonio Rampage on Nov. 9, 2013, leading the team to a 100-point, 45-win season and a division title. He, along with Allen, instilled an up-tempo style of play that contributed to the Rampage scoring 248 regular season goals, the second most in the entire AHL (one fewer than the league-leading 249).

Joyce said there shouldn’t be any transition period between Rowe and Allen.

“There’s not going to be a transition period, and I think you saw that last night,” said Joyce. “Scott is a guy that runs the same systems that Florida runs, same systems that Tom as runs and the players shouldn’t recognize a difference on the ice.”

“The expectations haven’t changed. The players play the game. The players win the game. The coaches’ job is to put the best players on the ice, and that job hasn’t changed. Our expectations for the team hasn’t changed.”

As Associate General Manager, Rowe will work alongside Panthers’ Team President Peter Luukko, Panthers’ GM Dale Tallon, and Pirates’ GM Eric Joyce, in supervising all hockey operations matters including the organization’s scouting and player development programs.

Rowe, 59, joins the Panthers front office, which has been without an associate or assistant general manager since March 2014, after a lengthy career as a player, scout, front office executive and head coach the American Hockey League and Kontinental Hockey League in Russia.

“I’m honored to begin this new role working alongside Dale Tallon and with the Panthers,” Rowe said. “It’s a very exciting time for the organization, and I’m looking forward to being a part of its continued growth and success.”

“Tom and I have known each other for decades and have worked together closely since he first joined our organization,” Tallon said. “He possesses a thorough understanding of our club, having coached many of the young players on our current NHL roster, and worked with our prospects at development and training camps. Together, Tom, Peter and I will work tirelessly to build a champion.”

Rowe will remain with the Panthers through the weekend before coming back to Portland to being the process of packing up for South Florida where he’ll be based.

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