Tallon out as general manager of Panthers after 10 seasons


Dale Tallon is out as general manager of the Florida Panthers after 10 seasons.

The Panthers announced on Monday they and Tallon, whose contract was set to expire after this season, had reached a mutual agreement to part ways. 

The announcement came three days after the Panthers were eliminated from the Stanley Cup Qualifiers by the New York Islanders, who won the best-of-5 series 3-1. 

“For the last decade, Dale raised the team’s profile, attracted key players to South Florida and brought character and class to our franchise,” Panthers owner Vincent Viola said. “When we purchased the Panthers in 2013, we did so with a singular goal — to win a Stanley Cup. We have not seen our efforts come to fruition. We will now begin an organizational search for the next general manager.”

Tallon was named general manager of the Panthers on May 18, 2010 and was promoted to president of hockey operations and GM on April 10, 2017. During his tenure, the Panthers won their first two division title since entering the NHL in 1993. However, they were eliminated by the New Jersey Devils in the 2012 Eastern Conference Quarterfinals after winning the Southeast Division, and by the Islanders in the 2016 Eastern Conference First Round following a team-record 103-point season and a first-place finish in the Atlantic Division.  

Florida missed the Stanley Cup Playoffs in each of the next three seasons which led Tallon to hire Joel Quenneville, a three-time Stanley Cup champion with the Chicago Blackhawks, to replace Bob Boughner as coach on April 8, 2019. That move was followed by signing two-time Vezina Trophy-winning goalie Sergei Bobrovsky to a seven-year, $70 million contract on July 1, 2019. 

But the Panthers (35-26-8 .565 points percentage) were 10th in the Eastern Conference when the NHL paused its season on March 12 because of concerns surrounding the coronavirus. They have not won a postseason series since 1996, when they advanced to the Stanley Cup Final before being swept by the Colorado Avalanche. 

“I would like to thank the South Florida fans and community for the last 10 years, and the Viola family for the last seven with this franchise,” Tallon said. “I have had the opportunity to work with a group of first-class individuals including a mentor of mine, the late William A. Torrey, and I’ve had the privilege of watching the development of the organization’s young talent who have become great players and even better people.”

Prior to joining the Panthers, Tallon spent 33 years with the Blackhawks organization as a player, broadcaster and executive. He was an assistant GM with Chicago from 2003-05, GM from 2005-09, and senior adviser of hockey operations in 2009-10. Tallon was responsible for hiring Quenneville and drafting or acquiring many of the top players who helped the Blackhawks win the Stanley Cup in 2010, 2013 and 2015. 

Tallon was the first player ever drafted by the Vancouver Canucks, who selected the defenseman with the No. 2 pick in the 1970 NHL Draft. He had 336 points (98 goals, 238 assists) in 642 games over 10 NHL seasons with Vancouver, Chicago and the Pittsburgh Penguins. Tallon played in the NHL All-Star Game in 1971 and 1972.

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