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Under Pressure: Dale Tallon

Aug 17, 2014, 3:35 PM EDT

Dale Tallon AP

There’s no question Florida Panthers’ general manager Dale Tallon went out and added some significant pieces to help his budding stars this offseason.

But his time to get this struggling franchise to become a regular playoff contender is quickly running out.

The team’s attendance is at the bottom of the league and the debt is piling up. Tallon is under pressure to turn the ship around in Florida.

Since taking over in May 2010, Tallon has got his club to the playoffs just once, during the 2011-12 season, where they lost in seven games of the first round to the New Jersey Devils.

Tallon is also on his third coach in Florida.

He hired Kevin Dineen prior to the 2011-12 season. Then in November 2013, Tallon replaced Dineen, who led the Panthers to a record 56-62-28 with Peter Horachek. Horachek lasted just 66 games as the team’s interim coach.

On June 21, Tallon appointed his latest bench boss, Gerard Gallant. Gallant’s only other head coaching experience in the NHL was parts of three seasons with the Columbus Blue Jackets from 2003-06 where he failed to reach the postseason.

Gallant’s track record, though brief, doesn’t really give you confidence if you’re a Panthers fan does it?

Tallon may not be doing much more hiring behind the bench, I mean how many swings and misses does a guy get?

This summer, Tallon signed Shawn Thornton, Dave Bolland and Willie Mitchell – all who have Stanley Cup experience in addition to Jussi Jokinen and Al Montoya. Tallon has to hope the vets mixed with the youngsters proves to be the right chemistry because if his job isn’t on the line at the moment, it certainly will be soon.

Florida finished with just 66 points last season well back of the 93 points Detroit needed to qualify for the second wild card spot. The Panthers play in the Atlantic Division with Boston, Montreal, Tampa Bay and Detroit – it’ll be a tall task for Tallon and Co. to avoid missing the playoffs for a third consecutive year.

Related: Panthers’ power play can only improve next season

  1. vintagekingsfan8 - Aug 17, 2014 at 4:12 PM

    I don’t think that Dale did enough this offseason to contend for a playoff spot in the Atlantic. I was hoping that he would sign a scoring winger like Vrbata, Cammalleri, or even Michalek. Jussi Jokinen has had the advantage of playing with Evgeni Malkin for the past 2 years which has really boosted his scoring production and I think that he will have a very disappointing year in Florida. I also believe that it would have been wise to keep Tom Gilbert over the aging Willie Mitchell. Gilbert proved this season that he is still a very capable defenseman in the NHL and was able to play over 21 minutes a night on the Panthers blue line. Although Mitchell has Stanley Cup experience, he played on a stacked Kings team that could’ve won without him. The Panthers overpaid him and could’ve signed Gilbert for about a million dollars less. GO KINGS!!!

  2. alicesrightfootesq - Aug 17, 2014 at 4:16 PM

    Panthers had nothing when he came here. The cupboard is stocked with young talent and the veterans are starting to make their way here. He has done a ton for this franchise. I don’t think his job is on the line at all but maybe I’m in the wrong.

  3. endusersolutions2013 - Aug 17, 2014 at 4:24 PM

    Tough division? Compared to one in the KHL perhaps. Atlantic was the weakest division in the weaker concerence. Not just my opinion.

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