The Florida Panthers have announced that an organizational search will begin for the franchise’s next General Manager starting immediately.
Dale Tallon’s contract was set to expire following the 2019-20 season. This search follows a mutual agreement between Tallon and the organization to part ways following his ten-season tenure with the club.
The listless Panthers were easily eliminated by the New York Islanders in the 2020 Qualifying Round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs on Friday. The beleaguered franchise has not advanced past the first round of the playoffs since 1996, with postseason berths in 1997, 2000, 2012, 2016 and a qualifying round berth in 2020. The last three of those playoff appearances came with Tallon at the helm.
Tallon’s tenure was marked by big swings and misses in free agency and a spotty draft record both in and especially, outside of the first round.
The Panthers looked to finally be heading in the right direction when they posted a franchise record 103-points and won the Atlantic Division in 2015-16 season. That team was bounced by the Islanders in the first round of the playoffs and ownership installed Tom Rowe as general manager afterwards. After a disappointing 2016-17 campaign, Tallon resumed his duties and promptly botched the 2017 Expansion Draft by losing forwards Jonathan Marchessault and Reilly Smith to the Vegas Golden Knights to protect four defensemen and hired inexperienced head coach Bob Boughner.
After spending gobs of money this past offseason on Sergei Bobrovsky, Anton Stralman, Brett Connolly, Noel Acciari and new bench boss Joel Quenneville, the team only showed slight improvement.
The Panthers have a 12.5% chance of winning the first pick in the 2020 NHL Entry Draft in tonight’s Phase 2 drawing. What an attractive chip that would be to have as they kick off this search.
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