Dale Tallon

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Dale Tallon
Born (1950-10-19) October 19, 1950 (age 63)
Noranda, QC, CAN
Height 6 ft 1 in (185 cm)
Weight 195 lb (88 kg; 13 st 13 lb)
Position Defence
Shot Left
Played for Vancouver Canucks
Chicago Black Hawks
Pittsburgh Penguins
National team  Canada
NHL Draft 2nd overall, 1970
Vancouver Canucks
Playing career 1970–1980

Michael "Dale" Tallon (born October 19, 1950) is a retired Canadian professional ice hockey defenceman and current general manager (GM) for the Florida Panthers of the National Hockey League (NHL).

After playing junior with the Oshawa Generals and Toronto Marlboros of the Ontario Hockey Association (OHA), Tallon was selected second overall by the Vancouver Canucks in the 1970 NHL Amateur Draft. He spent his ten-year NHL career with the Canucks, Chicago Blackhawks and the Pittsburgh Penguins.

Following his retirement as a player, Tallon began a broadcasting career with the Blackhawks lasting 16 years. In 1998, he joined the front office as director of player personnel before working his way up to GM. Serving in the latter capacity from 2005 to 2009, he helped rebuild the team into a Stanley Cup winner in 2010, at which point he had been demoted to assistant GM. In May 2010, he was named GM for the Panthers.

Tallon is also a distinguished golfer, having won the 1969 Canadian Junior Golf Championship and participated in the Canadian PGA Tour.

Playing career[edit]

Junior[edit]

Tallon began his junior career at sixteen years old with the Oshawa Generals of the Ontario Hockey Association. Highly anticipated in Oshawa,[1] he went on to score 12 goals and 43 points over 50 games as a rookie in 1967–68. Despite leading all General defencemen in scoring and ranking third on the team overall,[2] he was traded to the Toronto Marlboros in the off-season in exchange for five players.[1]

In Toronto, he improved to 17 goals and 49 points over 48 games. In 1969–70, his third and last junior year, Tallon recorded OHA career-highs of 39 goals, 40 assists and 79 points (10th in league scoring)[3] over 54 games. He added 12 goals and 29 points over 18 playoff games, as the Marlboros lost to the Montreal Jr. Canadiens in the J. Ross Robertson Cup Finals. Tallon has recalled "forcing things" in his first two junior years due to his playing in new cities with high expectations of him and that it wasn't until his last year that he "finally relaxed and it all came together."[1]

NHL[edit]

Having completed a successful third season in the OHA, Tallon was among the top prospects going into the 1970 NHL Amateur Draft. Selected second overall, he went to the Vancouver Canucks, a new franchise in the NHL. They had lost the first overall pick in a lottery draw to their fellow expansion team, the Buffalo Sabres, who selected Gilbert Perreault.[1] In his rookie season, he scored 14 goals and led the Canucks with 42 assists. His 17 goals for Vancouver in 1971–72 was a career high. A leading scorer on the team, Tallon represented the Canucks in the 1971 and 1972 NHL All-Star Games.

Following his second NHL season, Tallon was selected to Team Canada's roster for the 1972 Summit Series against the Soviet Union. Designated as a reserve, he played in an exhibition game against Sweden,[4] but did not compete in the main series.

Following his third season with Vancouver, in which he scored 13 goals and 37 points, he was traded to the Chicago Blackhawks on May 14, 1973, in exchange for Gary Smith and Jerry Korab.[1] His best season in Chicago was in 1975–76, when he scored 15 goals and had a team-high and career-high 47 assists. In five seasons with the Blackhawks, he scored 44 goals and 112 assists for 156 points.

On October 9, 1978, Tallon was traded to the Pittsburgh Penguins for a second-round choice in the 1980 NHL Entry Draft. He played two seasons with the Penguins, scoring 10 goals with 33 assists, before retiring.

In his ten-season NHL career, Tallon scored 98 goals and had 238 assists for 336 points in 642 games played.

Broadcasting career[edit]

Following his retirement as a player, Tallon returned to the Blackhawks franchise as a broadcaster. He went on to spend 16 seasons as an analyst for Blackhawks radio and television broadcasts. Tallon also served the same role in the 2002–03 NHL season, between his two stints in the Blackhawks front office.

Front office[edit]

Chicago Blackhawks[edit]

In 1998, Tallon joined the Blackhawks front office as director of player personnel, a position he held until 2002. After then serving as assistant general manager, beginning on November 5, 2003, he was named the Blackhawks' eighth general manager in team history on June 21, 2005, succeeding Bob Pulford.

Tallon's first season as the Blackhawks general manager was a busy one. The 2004–05 NHL season was lost to a labor dispute, and the new collective bargaining agreement between the owners and players was signed in July 2005. Between the new financial structure and many rules changes intended to produce a higher scoring game, Tallon was challenged to build a new team. Tallon signed many free agents, including goaltender Nikolai Khabibulin,[5] defenceman Adrian Aucoin,[6] and forward Martin Lapointe,[7] which led to raised expectations. The Blackhawks finished Tallon's first season with 26 wins, 43 losses, and 13 overtime losses, for 65 points, ranking the Blackhawks 14th in the 15-team Western Conference, and with the third-least points in the NHL.

Under Tallon, however, the Blackhawks steadily improved, raising their points totals to 71 and 88 in the next two years. Though not enough to make the playoffs either year, their poor overall standing allowed Tallon high draft picks to work with. In 2006, he selected Jonathan Toews third overall, then Patrick Kane first overall the following year. The two forwards went on to quickly become franchise cornerstones and were joined by fellow young talents Patrick Sharp, Kris Versteeg, Martin Havlat and Brian Campbell, all of whom Tallon either signed or traded for.

With a new core of players in 2008–09 season, the Blackhawks finished the season with a 46-24-12 record for 104 points. Ranking 4th overall in the Western Conference, the team qualified for the playoffs for the first time since 2002. Chicago made it to the Western Conference Finals, where they were eliminated in 5 games by the Detroit Red Wings.

Tallon further bolstered his team in the off-season by signing star winger Marián Hossa and Selke Trophy-winner John Madden. That same off-season, however, Tallon and the Blackhawks management came under fire in early-July 2009, when the National Hockey League Players' Association (NHLPA) claimed the team did not submit qualifying offers to their restricted free agents before the deadline.[8] In the worst case scenario, the team's unsigned restricted free agents at the time, including Versteeg, would have become unrestricted, earning them additional salary and negotiating rights.[8] Tallon was able to sign all his restricted free agents, although at a cost of millions more than he would have to had he qualified them in time.[9]

Soon thereafter, on July 14, 2009, the Blackhawks demoted Tallon to the position of Senior Advisor, while Stan Bowman, son of Scotty Bowman, was promoted to general manager.[10] The following day, Havlat, who was no longer a Blackhawk, criticized the team's management and defended Tallon.[11] He stated, "Every single player on that team is with Dale. I still talk to the guys all the time, hockey players know a phony when they see one."[11] He specifically berated John McDonough, the team's president, commenting "McDonough couldn't stand that Dale was so successful and getting the credit for building the Hawks from a last place team to making the Conference Finals in 3 short years."[11]

The Hawks went on the win the Stanley Cup in June 2010. In September, it was revealed that Tallon's name had been engraved on the Cup.[12] He received his Stanley Cup ring on his 60th birthday.

Florida Panthers[edit]

After serving as a senior advisor with the Blackhawks for nearly a year, Tallon was hired on May 17, 2010, by the Florida Panthers as General Manager, replacing Randy Sexton.[13] The Panthers had finished last in their division the previous season and had not made the playoffs since 2000. Seeking a rebuilding process similar to that which he accomplished in Chicago, Tallon immediately began trading away several players, most notably forward Nathan Horton and defenceman Keith Ballard.

In his first season as general manager, the Panthers finished last in their division a second straight year, prompting Tallon to fire head coach Peter DeBoer (later replacing him with former NHL player Kevin Dineen) and continue trading for younger players and draft picks. At the NHL trade deadline, he dealt away captain Bryan McCabe, as well as veterans Cory Stillman, Radek Dvorak and Chris Higgins. In the off-season, he acquired three former Chicago players – Brian Campbell, Tomas Kopecky, and Kris Versteeg – while also signing Tomas Fleischmann and former Panthers fan favourite Ed Jovanovski.

Tallon's personnel changes led to the Panthers winning their first Southeast Division title in franchise history, improving by 22 points in 2012. Qualifying for the playoffs as the third seed, they were eliminated in the first round by the New Jersey Devils. As a result of his leading the team to their first playoff appearance in twelve years, Tallon was nominated for the 2012 NHL General Manager of the Year Award. He signed a contract extension on June 6, 2012.[14]

Golfing career[edit]

In addition to hockey, Tallon was an avid golfer growing up. As a teenager, Tallon's father wanted him to be a hockey player, while his mother aspired for a golfing scholarship at an American college. After winning the 1969 Canadian Junior Golf Championship, he went on to qualify for the Canadian PGA Tour two years later. He was formerly the head professional at Highland Park Country Club in Chicago and the Tamarack Golf Club in Naperville, Illinois.[1]

Awards[edit]

Career statistics[edit]

    Regular season   Playoffs
Season Team League GP G A Pts PIM GP G A Pts PIM
1967–68 Oshawa Generals OHA 50 12 31 43 88
1968–69 Toronto Marlboros OHA 48 17 32 49 80 6 6 2 8 8
1969–70 Toronto Marlboros OHA 54 39 40 79 128 18 12 17 29 13
1970–71 Vancouver Canucks NHL 78 14 42 56 58
1971–72 Vancouver Canucks NHL 69 17 27 44 78
1972–73 Vancouver Canucks NHL 75 13 24 37 83
1973–74 Chicago Black Hawks NHL 65 15 19 34 36 11 1 3 4 29
1974–75 Dallas Black Hawks CHL 7 1 4 5 14
1974–75 Chicago Black Hawks NHL 35 5 10 15 28 8 1 3 4 4
1975–76 Chicago Black Hawks NHL 80 15 47 62 101 4 0 1 1 8
1976–77 Chicago Black Hawks NHL 70 5 16 21 65 2 0 1 1 0
1977–78 Chicago Black Hawks NHL 75 4 20 24 66 4 0 2 2 0
1978–79 Pittsburgh Penguins NHL 63 5 24 29 35
1979–80 Syracuse Firebirds AHL 6 0 1 1 4
1979–80 Pittsburgh Penguins NHL 32 5 9 14 18 4 0 0 0 4
NHL totals 642 98 238 336 568 33 2 10 12 45

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e f Douglas, Greg (2010). "2". Canucks at Forty. Vancouver: Vancouver Canucks. pp. 5–7. ISBN 978-0-470-67916-6. 
  2. ^ "1967-68 Oshawa Generals (OHA) Scoring". Hockeydb.com. Retrieved 2012-08-22. 
  3. ^ "OHA 1969-70 League Leaders". Hockeydb.com. Retrieved 2012-08-22. 
  4. ^ "Crude Team Canada ties sneaky Sweden 4–4". The Globe and Mail. September 18, 1972. p. S01. 
  5. ^ [1]
  6. ^ [2]
  7. ^ [3]
  8. ^ a b "NHLPA files grievance against Blackhawks over free-agent glitch". Associated Press (Sports Illustrated). 2009-07-06. Retrieved 2009-07-14. [dead link]
  9. ^ "Blackhawks replace GM Tallon with Bowman". CBC Sports (The Canadian Broadcasting Corporation). July 14, 2009. Retrieved 17 May 2010. 
  10. ^ "Blackhawks Promote Stan Bowman To General Manager". blackhawks.nhl.com. 2009-07-14. Retrieved 2009-07-14. 
  11. ^ a b c Wyshynski, Greg (2009-07-15). "Havlat finally blasts Blackhawks in more than 140 characters". Yahoo! Sports. Retrieved 2009-07-15. 
  12. ^ Kuc, Chris (September 28, 2010). "Tallon honored with name engraved on Stanley Cup". Chicago Tribune. 
  13. ^ http://panthers.nhl.com/club/news.htm?id=529397
  14. ^ http://panthers.nhl.com/club/news.htm?id=633913

http://sports.espn.go.com/chicago/nhl/news/story?id=5702879&campaign=rss&source=NHLHeadlines

External links[edit]

Preceded by
None
Vancouver Canucks first round draft pick
1970
Succeeded by
Jocelyn Guevremont
Preceded by
Bob Pulford
General Manager of the Chicago Blackhawks
2005–09
Succeeded by
Stan Bowman
Preceded by
Randy Sexton
General Manager of the Florida Panthers
2010–present
Incumbent