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Tallon is building the Panthers in a familiar way

Aug 3, 2013, 1:50 PM EDT

Dale Tallon Getty Images

Panthers GM Dale Tallon made a name for himself being the guy who essentially built the Chicago Blackhawks’ Stanley Cup team in 2010.

When he took over the Florida Panthers in the summer of 2010, he knew he had to help build them from the ground up and his design is looking mighty familiar to what he did in Chicago.

Think of the players he drafted in Chicago that became Cup winners: Niklas Hjalmarsson (4th round – 2005), Jonathan Toews (3rd overall – 2006), Patrick Kane (1st overall – 2007), Marcus Kruger (5th round – 2009).

In Florida, he’s had more than his fair share of high first-round picks and looking at how he’s used them, the similarities to Chicago are eerie.

2010: Erik Gudbranson (D), Nick Bjugstad (C), Quinton Howden (F)
2011: Jonathan Huberdeau (F)
2012: Michael Matheson (D)
2013: Aleksander Barkov (C)

Next season’s Panthers roster could see five of those six players suiting up on opening night (Matheson is currently at Boston College).

Barkov is set to be Huberdeau’s set-up man and the parallels to those two possibly being the next Toews and Kane are there. Gudbranson came on a bit last season after getting his shoulder repaired and showed he can be a physically intimidating player.

If Bjugstad and Howden live up to their potential and Matheson emerges when he’s through with school, this Florida team could be very tough to beat… Eventually.

  1. withseidelinn - Aug 3, 2013 at 1:59 PM

    It’s really the scouts who do all the research, projections, analysis, and the actual drafting. Unless Tallon has essentially the same head of scouting and staff he had when he was with Chicago, the types of players he “drafts” will be different. Doesn’t mean he won’t draft good players anymore but if there’s a different guy in charge it won’t be the same Chicago type team in the future.

  2. vstar1us - Aug 3, 2013 at 2:03 PM

    Well I hope he has some good luck!

  3. lateralous - Aug 3, 2013 at 2:15 PM

    Seems like if the owner would just let Tallon spend a little money to fill a few obvious holes, they could be a fringe playoff team again this year without mortgaging their future.

    • withseidelinn - Aug 3, 2013 at 3:10 PM

      Exactly, but after the year they had and the unavoidable losses of cash they experienced I can’t see any owner wanting to be far above the cap floor.

  4. enollatsknarf - Aug 3, 2013 at 4:28 PM

    The Tallon Formula — Tank for several years and try not to completely botch the draft.
    Why can’t the oilers get this right?

    • jcmeyer10 - Aug 3, 2013 at 5:13 PM

      Amen. Everyone acts like the Blackhawks didn’t hit a home run on Toews and Kane in back to back years. Not to mention Shaw in 2011 and Kruger in 2009.

      • pwt3 - Aug 3, 2013 at 10:10 PM

        Except it isn’t just Toews and Kane. They hit on the early picks, yea, but they also hit on Seabrook, Keith, Byfuglien, Hjalmarsson, Saad, Bolland, Bickell, Shaw, Crawford, and on and on. They also trade well (Sharp, Leddy, Versteeg) and have had enough good in free agency (Hossa, Emery) to offset the bad (Huet, Campbell).

        You can’t duplicate what the Hawks do because they do just about everything amazingly right, both on and off the ice. To say they “just tanked several years and picked up stars” is inaccurate and unfair. Kane and Toews are fantastic players but the entire team is incredible. There’s a reason Emery and Crawford both put up amazing numbers – the team in front of them was dominant. There’s a reason the Hawks 4th line could routinely outplay the other team’s first line. It’s not the couple of high draft picks.

  5. kicksave1980 - Aug 3, 2013 at 5:47 PM

    It’s true that the scouting department plays a big part, but one thing that separates Tallon from most other GM’s is that he himself also acts like a scout. He still goes to Europe a lot, as well as a lot of places within North America. He did that all the time in Chicago, and I’m sure he’s still doing that these days in Florida.

  6. hotketchup99 - Aug 3, 2013 at 7:02 PM

    Tallon is great at drafting, he just isnt the best with contracts.

    • comeonnowguys - Aug 6, 2013 at 1:22 PM

      Nail on the head. It took the Hawks two years to dig out from his contract problems to get some depth back to the team.

      As good as Tallon was building the team, Bowman (so far) has been even better retooling it.

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