The Panthers get a little more of a military look to management.
SUNRISE — The already prominent military influence on leadership of the Florida Panthers took another commanding step Thursday with retired Gen. Raymond T. Odierno appointed as chairman and alternate governor.
Odierno, 63, served as the 38th Chief of Staff of the Army and led the United States joint forces command in Iraq from 2010 to 2011. He has been working with owner Vinnie Viola since February on getting the Panthers back on course after a detour to leadership by committee led to last season’s fall from the playoffs to near bottom of the Eastern Conference.
“I’ll give Mr. Viola credit, he realized things didn’t go well last year, both from an organizational perspective and on the ice, and he wanted to make some changes,” Odierno said.
“After I did my assessment, one of the things that was very clear is we needed to put Dale Tallon back in charge of the hockey operations. That was the first recommendation and the first decision that I probably made. Today has been formalizing what I’ve been doing already.”
Viola installed Tallon back in his role as general manager and the lead voice for the hockey side immediately after the conclusion of the disappointing 2016-17 season.
Also notably, the move frees Peter Luukko, Panthers executive chairman since 2015, to devote full attention to his role as cochairman of the Oak View Group’s Arena Alliance.