It sounds like Dale Tallon is back to doing that thing he allegedly never stopped doing. So does this mean he’s no longer freezing his butt off in rinks while scouting?
OK, that’s confusing, right? Let’s walk this back.
Back in July when Tom Rowe was named GM and Tallon was promoted to director of hockey operations of the Florida Panthers, a lot of people would have placed “promoted” in quotation marks. Many believed that Tallon was handed a fancy title while believers in fancy stats would be making the key personnel decisions.
From the way they spent their money during the summer to the controversial firing of Gerard Gallant, it certainly seemed like there was a change in pace, even if Tallon insisted that he had the final call on decisions. Many in the hockey world frankly disagree with Tallon’s public assessment of his power in the organization.
Now it appears as if though Tallon really is making those GM-type decisions again, according to TSN’s Darren Dreger. Here’s the first in a line of tweets on the subject from Dreger:
And, just to remind you of the confusion over who wears the pants in the Panthers family:
Dreger notes that, since Rowe decided to serve as interim head coach, Tallon is tasked with “fixing things” and running the hockey operations on a day-to-day basis. It’s totally reasonable to wonder what this means for the analytical approach, especially when Dreger reports that Tallon wants to (wait for it) make the Panthers “tougher to play against.”
(Code for … well, all sorts of anti-fancy-stat things, at least generally speaking.)
If you want the tl;dr version: Tallon is, more or less, back to being GM of the Panthers, according to Dreger’s report. He appears to be “back in power.”
This comes a day after the Panthers were roasted for a 5-1 loss to the Minnesota Wild, with many a stat-hater trotting out their favorite “I told you so” tweets.
For some, this is the Panthers trying to “stabilize” management, as Dreger concludes. Others wonder if this is yet another move made in the interest of “optics.”
Of course, there are plenty of other people who just believe that this is one big mess. Actually, that might be the one thing that both sides of the “stats” debate would probably agree upon right now.