In hindsight, the Florida Panthers had too many cooks in the kitchen, trying to run a team that ended up being one of the NHL’s most disappointing in 2016-17.
So today, the Panthers put the old head chef back in charge, naming Dale Tallon general manager and vowing that every hockey decision will go through him.
“Everything was done with the best intentions,” team president Matthew Caldwell said, per the Miami Herald. “We want to win. We want to look at a lot of things that were out there, a lot of voices, but I think what we learned is that having a singular voice who listens to everything — listens to analytics, listens to scouts, listens to his gut for many, many years — and have one single voice that reports to ownership is most important.”
It’s a far cry from what we heard a year ago, when Tallon was “promoted” to president of hockey ops, with Tom Rowe taking over GM duties, assisted by Eric Joyce and Steve Werier.
“I wasn’t a big fan of doing contracts,” Tallon said at the time. “It frees me up to do what I think I do best, and that’s go scout, evaluate talent, mentor our young guys, and help develop them. That’s basically what I like to do. I like going to rinks. I like freezing my rear end off in these little rinks. That’s what I enjoy most about this job.”
Rowe, of course, ending up coaching the Panthers after Gerard Gallant was fired in November. The team is not keeping Rowe behind the bench for next season, though he’ll remain with the organization as a special advisor.
Tallon said the Panthers have “a list of young coaches that we’re interested in and we’re going to go in that direction.”