Following the conclusion of the 2019-20 season, the Florida Panthers decided not to renew Dale Tallon’s contract as the team’s general manager.
Arriving back on May 17, 2010, from the Chicago Blackhawks, Tallon managed Florida to two playoff appearances (2012 & 2016) as well as one play-in series – all resulting in early exits. He was also responsible for drafting the Panthers’ core, including the likes of Jonathan Huberdeau, Aleksander Barkov, and Aaron Ekblad. But apart from some early (and obvious) draft scoops, he was also responsible for the botched draft selections that he made back in 2010.
Former Panthers President of Hockey Operations & General Manager Dale Tallon had this to stay about his time in South Florida, via NHL.com:
“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. 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.”
Panthers President & CEO Matt Caldwell will be responsible for conducting a search towards finding the Florida Panthers’ next GM. He shared a few words on Tallon:
“We want to thank Dale for his dedication and leadership over the years to our franchise. Working closely with ownership, we are committed to finding the best fit for General Manager of our team going forward. We will conduct a broad and comprehensive search to find the right leader who will direct our hockey operations towards building a championship caliber franchise.”
Panthers Owner and Governor Vincent Viola also shared his thoughts on Dale Tallon but discussed his shortcomings as the team’s former boss:
“For the last decade, Dale raised the team’s profile, attracted key players to South Florida and brought character and class to our franchise. 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.”
After crashing out in the qualifying round to the hands of the New York Islanders in four games, the Panthers know they have a lot of work that needs to get done this offseason. Dale Tallon’s departure is just the first of many tasks that needed completing in order to turn Florida’s fortunes around.
The next GM will need to be an outside hire if the Panthers hope to change their organizational culture and structure. Said individual will need to have a fresh outlook on the game who can draft well, develop properly, and get the most out of his stars in a set window.
It was only a matter of time until this day arrived. Tallon was running out of ideas to change this team for the better and set the organization up for a successful, Stanley Cup run. We thank him for his ten years of work and for administering some of Florida’s biggest decisions during his tenure here, but the time for change is now, and this is only the first step of real change for the Florida Panthers going forward.