The Pan­thers get a lit­tle more of a mil­i­tary look to man­age­ment.

Sun Sentinel Palm Beach Edition - - SPORTS - By Craig Davis Staff writer

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.

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