If it were me, and it’s not, there’s obviously a long list of items that new GM Dale Tallon needs to address in his new role as General Manager for the Florida Panthers. Those of you who read this blog during the season know that I’ve been short on patience, and have been quietly (sometimes) demanding changes.
Dale’s hiring by the Panthers is the first step in the right direction to fix this teams long stemming problem of not making the playoffs. It’s not going to happen overnight, but if it takes the same three years that it took Dale to do it in Chicago, I’ll be happy. Believe me, I don’t want to wait three years to make the playoffs, but if this Panther team can change it’s culture, style of play and become a hockey team that’s no longer a pushover, till we “get there”, it will be progress. And that fans is what we need.
Over the course of the summer I’ll spend some time analyzing things in more detail, but here’s a list of things that I think the Panthers need to address at the NHL level.
* Replace the scouting staff. If you already haven’t done it.
* Select a forward, preferably a center at the upcoming draft. Defencemen and goalies take longer to develop. We need offence and we need it now. Surely there’s someone in this year’s draft that we can take early in the first round.
* Use a draft pick or two in combination with a player or two to acquire offensive help.
* Replace the assistant coaches. Both Mike Kitchen and Jim Hulton have been below average at best, especially in the special teams department.
* If possible, trade Tomas Vokoun in an effort to get some veteran leadership at the foward and or defensive positions. Let’s not lose him for nothing.
* Get a number one center that’s big enough to compete with most other’s. Stevie is too small for that. Stop kidding us.
* Dump Rostisalv Olesz as fast as possible. We may have to take a bad contract back, but maybe someone else needs a change of scenery.
* Break up the Sunrise Express line. And if that means trading two thirds of it, do it.
* Please don’t sign any 35 year old journeyman forwards. At this point I’d rather see youth than an overpriced worn out vet.
* If you acquire any Chicago Blackhawks players, and my guess is that there’s one or two that could be had, please don’t send any Florida Panthers there. Use draft picks instead. Please.
It’s a long list and a lot of wishes. I know everything can’t be done at once, but I’m confident that Tallon can get things done and move this team in the right direction. If he’s given the power to do what he needs to, and I don’t think he would have taken the job if he didn’t, the changes that he’ll make will change the fate of this team in a very short time.
What’s on your list?
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