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What’s Tallon selling in Florida? A ‘winning team right away’

Apr 29, 2014, 4:38 PM EDT

Dale Tallon AP

“We have a commitment from (owner) Vinnie Viola to win, and to go after the top players in free agency and make this team a winning team right away. That’s what we’re selling.”

That was Panthers general manager Dale Tallon today (audio), sounding a lot like a guy who plans to be extremely busy this summer.

Tallon’s already made one big offseason move, firing coach Peter Horachek, a rookie NHL bench boss the GM deemed “not quite the right fit.”

In replacing Horacek, Tallon plans to interview “a lot of candidates,” but “more NHL head-coaching experience” is a definite requirement.

Tallon confirmed that Peter Laviolette is on the list of candidates, and he called Barry Trotz a “hell of a coach,” so you can assume he’s on the list, too.

You can also assume that Tallon will be working hard to make trades. The Panthers are stocked with young assets, and the GM made it clear he was willing to deal some of them for “the right NHL players.”

Related: Panthers owner tellsTallon he can spend to cap

  1. ibieiniid - Apr 29, 2014 at 4:44 PM

    welp. good luck with that.

    • JoeAvg - Apr 29, 2014 at 5:04 PM

      Yeah well he did say “winning” team. You could probably buy yourself an above 500 team by throwing money around. As long as you don’t mind quick playoff exits. But a championship team needs built mostly from within. You’re not doing that with a hard cap. Not in this league. I think his brain’s getting over Heated, if you catch my drift.

      • greatmiamisportsmind - Apr 29, 2014 at 5:36 PM

        You clearly haven’t watched a Panthers game this season. In case you forgot the team does have a lot of young talent to build around. Their leading scorer was rookie Nick Bjugstead, Huberdeau won the Calder Trophy last season, Barkov had a great rookie year until he got injured in the Olympics.

      • blomfeld - Apr 29, 2014 at 9:51 PM

        “You could probably buy yourself an above 500 team by throwing money around” …

        Don’t know about you pal, but I’d say that US $46,000,000.00 would qualify as ‘money’ eh ?

      • bildomatic - Apr 30, 2014 at 10:01 AM

        Their leading scorer also had 38 points…

    • mackattack29 - May 2, 2014 at 3:54 PM

      You do realize they have Nick Bjugstad AND Aleksander Barkov as their 1a and 1b centers? That’s two of THE best young centers in the game. If you payed any attention to their team this year you would know that they are absolutely set. All they need is some complementary players and they will be a contender. Bjugstad is U.S.A.’s Olympic teams future number 1 center and barkov is an absolute possession animal. There is very few teams in the nhl with as good a one two punch at center as those two. They’re just young and need a culture change. Just like Colorado.

  2. canucks30 - Apr 29, 2014 at 5:11 PM

    The Panthers have been rebuilding for 18 years.

  3. drewsylvania - Apr 29, 2014 at 5:15 PM

    The Panthers are like Washington of the NFL. Always playing musical chairs with crappy free agents–and rarely drafting effectively.

    • greatmiamisportsmind - Apr 29, 2014 at 5:40 PM

      Your fairly clueless, it’s not that the Panthers swung and missed on either their draft picks or free agents or lack there of. First of all, they have had cheap owners who previously wouldn’t spend the money on free agents, let alone resign any of their own free agents. They let the face of the franchise Stephen Weiss leave for a new division rival, when he came back to them and gave them the chance to match Detroit’s offer. As for as drafting bad, Huberdeau won the Calder, Barkov won a bronze with Finland, Bjugstead lead the team in scoring, and Gudbranson is coming along nicely.

      • drewsylvania - Apr 29, 2014 at 6:25 PM

        You’re right, they’ve drafted better recently. Maybe it will work. But they’re coming off a ridiculously-bad offensive season. That’s a lot of free agents to get.

    • drewsylvania - Apr 29, 2014 at 6:19 PM

      If the face of your franchise is Stephen Weiss….well, I’m not sure how good your team is.

      • greatmiamisportsmind - Apr 29, 2014 at 9:17 PM

        Good enough to take eastern conference champions to overtime game 7…

  4. LampyB - Apr 29, 2014 at 6:21 PM

    Greatmiami have you been smoking crack? Weiss was a total injury disaster and he went to detroit and turned out to be a travesty. Florida could have given him away and absorbed the entire contract and it would have been better than keeping him.

    What the hell are you talking about???

    • greatmiamisportsmind - Apr 29, 2014 at 9:31 PM

      Explain to me how Weiss was an injury disaster with his time in Florida? One injury filled year doesn’t make a career.

      2012-13 17 Games (41 game season)
      2011-12 80 Games
      2010-11 76 Games
      2009-10 80 Games
      2008-09 78 Games
      2007-08 74 Games
      2006-07 74 Games
      2005-06 41 Games
      2004-06 locked out
      2003-04 50 Games
      2002-03 77 Games
      2001-02 7 Games (signed after OHL season)

      That’s 654 Games in 9 full season and one short one

  5. djshnooks - Apr 29, 2014 at 7:17 PM

    Take it from the Sabres, this doesn’t work.

    Ville Leino, Christian Ehrhoff, Robyn Regehr, and others could say the same.

    They’re better off developing the young talent they have and letting them grow together…as all the good teams do. (And again, as Buffalo did with Vanek, Pominville, Roy, Gaustad, Miller, etc.)

    Hopefully Buffalo learned a lesson…and let’s their guys develop and grow together.

  6. richsofla - Apr 29, 2014 at 7:56 PM

    Enough! I’ve been a fan of the Panthers from day 1. When you relocate from the north, to south florida, you root for at least one home team (and since the Islanders haven’t done much lately…) the Panthers are my team. It’s too easy an excuse to slam this team for 18 years. Mike Keenan ( almost single-handedly) and he Murray brothers did way too much damage with horrible trades. Bottom line, Dale Tallon in 3 years has stocked this franchise with bonafide youth. If you actually watched any Panthers games this year you’d see the talent. When Tallon says this team is ready to win he’s right. The youth, goaltending and ownership will finally get this team headed up in the standings. The right coach and just a few FA pickups will surprise many next season. If Tallon deserves credit for the ‘Hawks…he’s building the same here.

    • ibieiniid - Apr 30, 2014 at 8:11 AM

      it’s refreshing and exciting to see an optimistic Panthers fan. I take my jabs, but I silently root for the league’s downtrodden teams. a stronger hockey presence in the south makes for a stronger NHL. good luck with your team, richsofia.

  7. lordfletcher - Apr 29, 2014 at 10:21 PM

    Wild fan thinks they should hire Trotz. Draft Ekblad and trade for Evander Kane. If they want to win now…

    If they want to build one more year and draft one of the two greats in next years draft may be a great plan. Imagine their depth at center. Could move plenty of their assets for wingers or d. They have massive potential like Buffalo, not Edmonton.

    • greatmiamisportsmind - Apr 30, 2014 at 1:52 AM

      Spot on Fletch…

      Off topic, good luck to your squad tomorrow night. I’ll be cheering for ya

  8. jkulha86 - Apr 30, 2014 at 7:43 AM

    Letang for Huberdeau

    • greatmiamisportsmind - Apr 30, 2014 at 10:37 AM

      Maybe we can also throw in Barkov and this year’s first overall pick, too.

  9. mackattack29 - May 2, 2014 at 3:57 PM

    People really do not realize how good the panthers will be in a couple years. It’s going to be ridiculous when their young guys develop and take the nhl by storm.

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