Reports this evening are that the Florida Panthers have restored former General Manager Dale Tallon to the head of Management. As reported by Darren Dreger:
Dale Tallon is resuming control of management duties and Hockey Ops in Florida. Panthers need to get back on track and stabilize things.— Darren Dreger (@DarrenDreger) December 14, 2016
This would appear to mean that Tallon has supplanted acting managers Eric Joyce and Steve Wernier, who took over when Tom Rowe was made coach. Nonetheless, it is hard to say exactly what this means, as Panthers management has been somewhat notoriously tight-lipped under present ownership, and has (at least in the coaching change) not provided information until the next day. Thus, it is possible we will learn more about this move tomorrow.
Taking this at face value, and assuming Tallon is the General Manager once again, it is hard to say what this move is meant to accomplish. There is no doubt that the move will satisfy what has been a restless and angered fan base. The team has been taking a national roasting in the hockey press, and a local drubbing here on LBC, on Facebook, Twitter, and reading between the lines of Fiakov and Richards- by the local press as well. George Richards in particular has a had a real change in underlying tone in his reporting for the Miami Herald, which can be read as criticism of the moves by the ownership team.
Thus, the move could be an olive branch towards the fan base. It could also be a sign that a power struggle behind the scenes has pushed in the opposite direction, and that the team has determined that a more experienced voice is needed at the top. If this is the case, it is hard to say what it can accomplish towards the on ice product this season. The personnel and coach have been set, and the course along with them, for 2016-17.
Finally, is this a move to calm the players? There is no doubt that the players trust Tallon and like him. With both Dale and Gallant pushed aside, there are rumblings that the players are not happy. Rowe's explosion on the bench against Minnesota was a poor look for player-management relations, and I was one of those opining that the new coach may have lost the locker room. If so, putting Tallon back in place may be the only move the team can make at this point to reassure the players that ownership hears them. Dreger seemed to indicate that this is indeed something the move will accomplish:
...he will now actively manage day to day which is a great move by the Panthers. Players need the stability and trust Tallon.— Darren Dreger (@DarrenDreger) December 15, 2016
Whatever the reasoning, this is the first good sign we have seen in months for the franchise to inch in the right direction. Here is to hoping that is indeed what we are seeing.