The Florida Panthers have made sweeping changes to their front office and coaching staff as they search for a new direction under GM Bill Zito. The team has named Rick Dudley and Paul Fenton senior advisors to the GM, Gregory Campbell vice president of player personnel and development, Blake Geoffrion the assistant to the general manager and added P.J. Fenton to the team’s scouting staff.
They have also announced that Mike Kitchen will not return as assistant coach, which follows a report earlier today that Kitchen allegedly physically assaulted a player on the bench in January. The team did not comment on the report. AHL assistant coach Doug Janik will not be joining the new affiliation in Charlotte.
Fenton’s name had surfaced in connection with the Panthers previously and he has a history with Zito from their time with the Columbus Blue Jackets. The former Minnesota Wild GM was perceived as a strong talent evaluator during his time in Nashville, though the stint in Minnesota obviously didn’t go well.
Dudley meanwhile has been serving as senior vice president of hockey operations with the Carolina Hurricanes and has nearly a half-century of experience in professional hockey.
Campbell, 36, only ended his playing career in 2016 but has served as a development coach since then with the Blue Jackets. His familiarity with Zito obviously led him to this position with the Panthers and given his 803 career NHL games as a depth forward, he should have a unique perspective to add to the development side.
The Panthers made a clear change when they parted ways with legendary executive Dale Tallon earlier this year and installed rookie GM Zito in the position.