SUNRISE, Fla.—After getting a raw deal from the Blackhawks, Dale Tallon is heading for South Beach.The Florida Panthers have named Tallon as the club’s new general manager, replacing Randy Sexton less than a year after he was officially named to the post.The Panthers made the announcement on Monday, a day ahead of a press conference at which the 59-year-old Tallon is to be introduced. Tallon comes to Florida after more than three decades with the Blackhawks organization, including five years as a player and a stint as the team’s general manager.
“Dale brings with him a proven track record and an impressive franchise-building resume that we believe is the perfect fit for the future of the Panthers organization,” Florida’s managing partners, Cliff Viner and Stu Siegel, said in a statement.
Tallon was named Hawk’s general manager in 2005 but was demoted to a senior adviser of hockey operations position in 2009 — less than two months after the Blackhawks advanced to the Western Conference finals.The Blackhawks drafted young stars Patrick Kane and Jonathan Toews during Tallon’s tenure as the team’s GM, and he was credited with trades and free-agent acquisitions that helped turn around the once-struggling franchise. Tallon has quite a challenge awaiting him in Florida. The Panthers, who finished last in the Southeast Division this year, haven’t appeared in a playoff game since the 1999-00 season. They also haven’t won a playoff series since 1996 or a playoff game since 1997. Many feel Tallon was moved aside by Scotty Bowman in a power play to clear the GM post for his Son Stan.
“I look forward to getting to work and will immediately evaluate our club’s framework, as we diligently prepare for the upcoming draft and free agency signing period,” Tallon said in the statement.
Sexton, who was officially named Florida’s GM in Oct. 2009, oversaw the team’s contract negotiations, scouting, administration and player development after Jacques Martin left the franchise in June to coach the Montreal Canadiens.