May 17, 2010, 1:40 PM EST
The Florida Panthers will name former Chicago Blackhawks GM Dale Tallon their new GM on Tuesday, according to Steve Gorten of the Sun-Sentinel. It is unclear if the Panthers will keep Richie Sexton around in some form.
Tallon had a big hand in constructing the two-time Western Conference finalist Chicago Blackhawks roster. While it doesn’t take a hockey genius to draft Patrick Kane, Duncan Keith and Jonathan Toews, Tallon stocked the franchise with gems such as Patrick Sharp, Dustin Byfuglien and Kris Versteeg through picks, free agency and trades.
Of course, if you ask me, Tallon also might be somewhat to blame for what could be a very messy salary cap-induced purge this summer. He was the team’s GM when they signed Brian Campbell and Cristobal Huet to monstrous contracts that clog up almost $13 million in cap space. There’s also that infamous “Faxgate” when the team failed to get qualifying offers to then-restricted free agents Versteeg and Cam Barker (who eventually was traded to Minnesota by new GM Stan Bowman). It’s unclear if that headache was really Tallon’s fault, but it was used to justify his firing. Overall, one of the team’s biggest problems is that they lack bargain contracts.
Then again, beggars can’t be choosers and the Panthers have been a hockey-poor organization all decade. Tallon might be able to bring credibility to an organization that needs it badly. It really can’t get much worse for the Panthers, after all, although it might actually be a good thing if they did get worse for a little while. If that happened the team could stockpile some high draft picks for a while.
That’s how Chicago did it, after all.
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