Hockey Headlines

Monday, 17 May 2010

Panthers Find Hawks' Tallon

Recognize this guy? If you say no, that's ok. He just got a new job after being "reassigned" to a position with another club that limited his abilities. If you're wondering who this mystery man is, his name is Dale Tallon. You may know him due to his recent success at the draft table, on trade day, and on free agency day in rebuilding the Chicago Blackhawks into a high-octane, well-oiled machine. While Dale has been filling the office of "senior advisor of hockey operations" in Chicago, you could almost sense that he missed the work he had done as general manager. According to reports, one team has noticed his recent success and wants to offer him the position of general manager. Ladies and gentlemen, I'd like to introduce you to Dale Tallon, General Manager of the Florida Panthers hockey club.

Reportedly, the Panthers will announce the hiring of Tallon to be their GM on Tuesday at a press conference, and you'd have to think that Tallon would be excited with the talent that Florida has already amassed both in Miami and in Rochester. Players like David Booth, Nathan Horton, Stephen Weiss, Shawn Matthias, Keith Ballard, Dmitri Kulikov, and Rostislav Olesz are the perfect building blocks with which to start a youth movement. And, unlike in Chicago, Florida has two pretty solid goaltenders in Tomas Vokoun and Scott Clemmensen.

Of course, the Panthers do have a few needs in this off-season, and there's no doubt that Tallon may find himself overpaying for free agents in order to attract them to come to South Florida. However, some players might make the jump to play on an up-and-coming team for a pay raise.

Current Chicago Blackhawk Adam Burish is a player that Tallon knows quite well, and is available this summer. A player like Burish won't put the Panthers over the top by any means, but Burish would be the kind of sandpaper player that Tallon loves and that teams desperately want to sign. Burish is also 26 years young, meaning he'd fit right into the youthful core of players that Florida has built.

While I could sit here and speculate on what Tallon may do as GM, there is no doubt that he brings a air of respect, credibility, and a demonstrated tireless work effort to make his team better on the ice. He took a risk on Patrick Sharp, and it paid off in spades. He took a risk on Martin Havlat, and it paid off for the better part of Havlat's time in Chicago. If there's one thing that Tallon seems to have, he and his staff in Chicago could recognize emerging talent. Whether or not he has the same success in Florida will remain to be seen, but there's no reason to doubt him at this point. Your 2009-10 Chicago Blackhawks are proof of that.

All in all, I really like this hiring. Ownership should be cautious in throwing bags of money at him to attract free agents, though, as Brian Campbell and Cristobal Huet would be considered misses in Tallon's era in Chi-town. Long contracts with high price tags are dangerous for a team, and here's hoping that Tallon learned the dangers in those previous signings.

However, players like Kane, Toews, Seabrook, Keith, and Niemi would lead me to believe that Tallon did his homework in drafting these players. With this in mind, I feel confident in saying that the Panthers will make the NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs within the next three years.

Panther fans, he's no Messiah, but he should conceivably set you down the right path. And that's exactly what every good team needs: someone at the top steering the ship in the right direction.

Until next time, keep your sticks on the ice!

1 comment:

mtjaws said...

Playoffs within 3 years? I want it next year! The Panthers have been close, but pay the price for costly slumps at the beginning and end of the season. I think this is a great move by the new owners to get a hockey veteran with GM experience. They've got to find the right mix of veterans and youngsters to try to keep improving. The draft will be Tallon's first real move, and Vokoun could be another, if they decide to trade him. (I hope they don't.)