Retired General Raymond T. Odierno, a highly-trusted member of the Florida Panthers front office since 2017, passed away on Friday.
Odierno was 67.
The Panthers, who officially hired Odierno to be their team chairman and alternate governor after he retired from a highly-decorated career in the U.S, Army, honored him with a moment of silence before Saturday’s preseason game against the Tampa Bay Lightning.
“General Odierno is an accomplished diplomat, general, sportsman, business executive and a bona fide American hero,” owner Vinnie Viola said upon hiring Odierno four years ago.
“Over the years he’s advised me on many of my business ventures. Since March, General Odierno has worked with me to chart a course forward for the Panthers organization.
“His vision and advice have been instrumental in empowering Dale (Tallon’s) leadership and providing our hockey operations department with the necessary tools to get us moving in a championship direction again.’’
Odierno was brought in when the Panthers wanted to settle down what had been an upheaval in their front office in 2017 — with Tallon being returned to his position as general manager.
The Panthers relied on Odierno for numerous tasks on both the business and hockey side of the arena – including contract negotiations.
Some of the bigger deals Odierno worked on included bringing in coach Joel Quenneville and goalie Sergei Bobrovsky in 2019.
Odierno grew up in Rockaway, New Jersey and, like Viola, was a graduate of the United States Military Academy at West Point.
The 38th Chief of Staff of the Army, General Odierno commanded the United States Joint Forces Command in Iraq from 2010-11, served as Command General from 2008-10 and as Commanding General, III Corps from May 2006-08.
A framed photo of General Raymond Odierno dropping the ceremonial puck during the 2015-16 season hangs in the Florida Panthers press box at FLA Live Arena. // @GeorgeRichards
After serving for almost 40 years — and commanding units at every echelon with duty in Germany, Albania, Kuwait, Iraq and the United States — General Odierno retired from active duty in 2015.
A former football player for Army, Odierno also served on the College Football Playoff selection committee.
“General Odierno is a leader of men and a patriot who has helped us move forward with a singular voice in hockey operations,” Tallon said in 2017.
“He’s proven himself to be a wise and insightful leader and communicator. I’m excited to continue to partner with a gentleman like General Odierno as we pursue our goal of bringing the Stanley Cup home to South Florida.”
According to a report by the Association of the United States Army, Odierno is survived by his wife “and high school sweetheart, Linda, as well as their three children, including retired Capt. Tony Odierno, a combat veteran, and their families.”
To read more about General Raymond T. Odierno, his obituary can be found here at military.com.