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Mike Santos out as Panthers assistant GM

AP - Sports

SUNRISE, Fla. (AP) -- The Florida Panthers say they won't renew the contract of Mike Santos, the team's assistant general manager.

Santos was informed of the decision Tuesday morning, general manager Dale Tallon said. Santos, who was hired in July 2010, also served as GM of the Panthers' AHL affiliate, the San Antonio Rampage.

''I feel we need to go in a different direction,'' Tallon said Tuesday night, when the Panthers hosted the Ottawa Senators. ''It's a tough decision.''

Tallon added that the decision doesn't reflect on the status of interim head coach Peter Horachek. Santos was instrumental in bringing Horachek to the Panthers.

Eric Joyce, the current assistant to the general manager, and Mike Dixon, the manager of hockey operations, will take on more responsibility until a replacement is found.

Before working for the Panthers, Santos spent four seasons as director of hockey operations for the Nashville Predators.

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