Panthers sign general manager Dale Tallon to extension

Dale Tallon. (J Pat Carter/AP)

CORAL SPRINGS, Fla. — General manager Dale Tallon is getting more time with his plan to turn the Florida Panthers into a winner.

The Panthers announced Friday that Tallon signed a contract extension. A person with knowledge of the negotiations told The Associated Press it was a three-year agreement. The person spoke on condition of anonymity because of team policy not to publicly release specifics of such deals.

Tallon was in the final year of his contract and a new deal has been expected for some time, especially with the Panthers opening 2016 atop the Atlantic Division and contending to claim what would be only the second post-season appearance for the franchise in its last 15 seasons.

"I’m excited for what the future holds for our team with an exciting nucleus of young players along with our mix of veterans," Tallon said.

The Panthers also announced the addition of Tom Rowe as its associate general manager, a position that had been vacant since March 2014. Rowe had been coach of the team's AHL affiliate in Portland.

Rowe will assume his new role immediately. Scott Allen is taking over for Rowe as head coach of the Maine club. Tallon said he and Rowe will work "tirelessly" to build a champion.

"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."

Tallon was a finalist for the NHL's Executive of the Year award after putting together a roster that won the franchise's first division title in 2012. Then last season, the team went from a 66-point team the year before to a 91-point club that challenged for a playoff spot until the season's final days.

He's blended younger and older players, drafting two Calder Trophy winners in Jonathan Huberdeau and Aaron Ekblad and merging them with an established star like Jaromir Jagr, whom Tallon landed in a trade late last season.

And in December, the Panthers went 11-3-0 to post the third-best month in terms of winning percentage in franchise history.

"Dale and Tom bring a wealth of leadership, credibility and hockey experience that will enrich our organization for years to come," Panthers owner Vinnie Viola said. "We have benefited tremendously from their expertise already."