The Florida Panthers have been extremely patient with general manager Dale Tallon. It’s about time they part ways and go in a different direction.
The Florida Panthers have been fighting mediocrity for most of their existence. They’ve only made the playoffs five times in their first 25 seasons. In four of those seasons, the Panthers didn’t get out of the first round. Their highest of highs came 24 years ago when they got swept by the Colorado Avalanche in the Stanley Cup Final.
The Panthers struggles over the last decade have one common thread – Dale Tallon. Back in 2010, the Panthers hired Tallon to run their front office. The whole reason he was available was because Tallon proved himself to be expendable with the Chicago Blackhawks. Tallon’s time with the Blackhawks included drafting both Jonathan Toews and Patrick Kane, but it also included forgetting to send in the paperwork to qualify some free agents.
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Since hiring him, they’ve made the playoffs just twice, losing in the first round each time. The most points they’ve had in any season is 103. They’ve only gotten at least 90 points four times in 11 seasons with Tallon in charge.
Though he hasn’t technically been their general manager for all 11 seasons, he’s been their GM for most of the past 11 seasons. And when Tallon wasn’t their general manager, he was their President of Hockey Operations.
While there’s something to be said about being patient, the Panthers have given Tallon an embarrassingly long leash. And it’s hard to see why they’re sticking with him. The Panthers are hardly better off than they were before they hired Tallon.
This season, the goal was to make the Stanley Cup Playoffs. Despite their best efforts to the contrary, the Panthers are very much in the postseason hunt. Entering Feb. 19, they’re two points short of the Toronto Maple Leafs for third place in the Atlantic Division and the Panthers have several games in hand.
But even if the Panthers do make the postseason, they should move on from Dale Tallon. Here are three reasons why.