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Panthers announce new GM of AHL team

New Jersey Devils v Florida Panthers

SUNRISE, FL - OCTOBER 11: Florida Panther fan rings his cowbells in support prior to the start of the game against the New Jersey Devils at the BB&T Center on October 11, 2014 in Sunrise, Florida. (Photo by Eliot J. Schechter/NHLI via Getty Images)

NHLI via Getty Images

The Florida Panthers announced today that Eric Joyce has been named general manager of their AHL affiliate, the San Antonio Rampage.

According to the release, Joyce will “serve as the point person for all hockey operations matters associated with” the Rampage.

“We are very proud to appoint Eric as our General Manager in San Antonio,” said Panthers owner Vincent Viola. “He is a passionate and dedicated individual who played the game at West Point and has continued taking on increased responsibilities since he joined the Panthers organization. He will be responsible for establishing a consistent culture that prepares our young players for National Hockey League competition.”

Reading between the lines, and with specific reference to Viola’s remark about “establishing a consistent culture,” it may be that the Panthers feel they haven’t done a good enough job of preparing their prospects for life in the NHL.

Certainly, given all the high draft picks they’ve enjoyed throughout the years, and given all the times they’ve missed the playoffs, it’s hard to argue that player development has been a strength of the Panthers.

Florida prospects currently playing in San Antonio include Drew Shore, Vincent Trocheck, Rocco Grimaldi, Quinton Howden, and Alex Petrovic.