Florida Panthers: Dale Tallon is back in charge again

After a year of turmoil on and off the ice, Dale Tallon resumes his (former) role as General Manager of the Florida Panthers moving forward.

Tallon, who was hired by the Panthers in May 2010, took over an organization that had not made the playoffs since 2000 (finishing dead last in the division prior to his hiring). He instantly added credibility to a franchise that severely lacked an identity, along with two division banners under his tenure. His efforts earned him a nomination for general manager of the year in 2012.

Eclipsing the 600 games mark in his NHL career along with once being a second overall draft pick, Tallon still relates to his players in today’s generation of the “fickle” athlete. Current NHL players even outside the organization who once played under Tallon still look to him for further guidance.

The word nepotism has been bandied about the Panthers fan base with regards to Eric Joyce/Steve Werier hirings by team owner Vincent Viola. Werier was relieved of his assistant GM duties this past week, but still reportedly kept on staff like Tom Rowe was at the conclusion of the 2016-17 season.

Tallon displays an unbiased viewpoint towards the franchise as he was on staff prior to Viola’s ownership. The question now becomes will Assistant General Manager Eric Joyce face a similar fate like Rowe and Werier?

There were some solid free agent signings by the prior group management last off season such as Jonathan Marchessault and Colton Sceviour, but the UFA acquisitions of defensemen Jason Demers and Keith Yandle were underwhelming to say the very least. Along with the large money and term extensions Aaron Ekblad and Reilly Smith (now with the Las Vegas Golden Knights) received last summer could have been the signal to bring Tallon back into his former role.

No player, coach or management figurehead are without fault. The monster five-year, $27.5-million-dollar free agent signing of Dave Bolland in the summer of 2014 was undoubtedly Tallon’s biggest blunder to date as Panthers GM.

With the organization seemingly choosing their words carefully now on the social media front since the development on the Tallon reshuffling (see: Jagr non transparency free agent updates and rumoured $10 million pay cut), it’s trending towards being a very unpredictable season ahead.

In Tallon, we trust again….. or do we?