Dale Tallon

Tallon: ‘I’ve got to do a better job’


The Florida Panthers didn’t even come close to making the playoffs this season and are on the verge of an embarrassing record.

These kind of campaigns are the norm in Florida, but there was hope that GM Dale Tallon could change that after his work laying the foundation for the Chicago Blackhawks’ near dynasty level of success. Although he did oversee the Panthers as they made the playoffs in 2012 for the first time in more than a decade, Florida descended right back to its losing ways.

“I’ve got to do a better job, simple as that,” Tallon told the Sun-Sentinel.

Tallon admitted that the organization overestimated certain players and they’ve lacked the depth to cope with the injuries that have come their way.

“This year, it’s just a matter of relying on an 18-year-old (Aleksander Barkov) and 21-year-old (Nick Bjugstad) to be top-line centers,” Tallon said. “That’s tough on them. It’s tough on everyone. And they were our best players.”

At the same time, he’s upbeat because he expects to be able to spend to the salary cap ceiling under new owner Vinnie Viola. The Panthers are projected to have somewhere in the range of $30 million in cap space going into the summer, so they can afford to be aggressive on the free agent market.

Of course, luring players to a team that has only made the playoffs once in the 21st century might be a challenge, but Tallon is hoping that the acquisition of goaltender Roberto Luongo will prove to free agents that the team is committed to winning in the near future.

The flip side to all this is that, if the Panthers really do spend to the cap, then expectation for Tallon will rise as well. In the past, Tallon had to make do with less resources than other teams. If Florida is spending as much as any other squad, then that won’t be an excuse going forward.

Memorial Cup champion goalie Appleby signs with Devils

Ken Appleby
The Canadian Press via AP
Leave a comment

Ken Appleby never got drafted, but his efforts during the New Jersey Devils’ training camp have earned him an entry-level contract, per the Bergen Record.

Although no team saw it fit to take him before the preseason, the 20-year-old is coming off of a very strong season. He had a 2.08 GAA and .924 save percentage in 50 games with the OHL’s Oshawa Generals. He went on to lead them to a Memorial Cup championship and earned the the Hap Emms Memorial Trophy as the tournament’s top goalie.

Appleby is the fifth goaltender the Devils have under contract after Cory Schneider, Keith Kinkaid, Scott Wedgewood, and Yann Danis. He’ll likely begin the season in the ECHL.

Alexandre Goulet and Jacob Sweeney also participated in the Devils’ training camp on an amateur tryout basis, but both of them have been released.

PHT Morning Skate: NHL stars weigh in on McDavid

Connor McDavid
The Canadian Press via AP
Leave a comment

PHT’s Morning Skate takes a look around the world of hockey to see what’s happening and what we’ll be talking about around the NHL world and beyond.

Some of the NHL’s top players discuss Connor McDavid‘s potential and the hype surrounding him. (Toronto Sun)

While we’re on the subject, Wayne Gretzky recalls what it was like for him going into the NHL and what’s in store for McDavid. (Edmonton Sun)

Sam Gagner is about to start a key season in his career. (Philadelphia Inquirer)

It’s time for the Washington Capitals to make some tough calls, particularly when it comes to Derek Roy. (CSN Mid-Atlantic)

With Raffi Torres hearing scheduled for today, here’s a look back at his suspension history. (San Jose Mercury News)

The Chicago Blackhawks have gotten their championship rings. (NHL.com)