Commentary

Dale Tallon's second major rebuild

The Blackhawks hold his fingerprints; now he must do the same in Florida

Originally Published: June 16, 2010
By Richard Pollock and E.J. Hradek | Puck Prospectus and ESPN The Magazine
Tomas VokounSteve Mitchell/US PresswireVokoun is top-notch, but sadly, not many on the other end can score.

Plugging Holes -- Florida Panthers

The Hole: A primarily scoring-focused forward

If you have been watching the ascension of the Chicago Blackhawks back into the NHL's spotlight, then you know that former GM Dale Tallon was the main cog in turning around that once-proud franchise. Tallon found himself on the outside looking in last summer after a couple of issues with management in Chicago and became the leader of the Florida Panthers.

In Tallon, the Panthers get a GM who has not only drafted well but has also demonstrated the ability to steal a couple of under-the-radar scoring forwards from well-managed franchises, see: Kris Versteeg (Boston) and Patrick Sharp (Philadelphia). He we won't have the cap flexibility he had in Chicago but he does have some talent to work with moving forward.

The Panthers are set in net, with arguably the best goaltender in the NHL in Tomas Vokoun. While the defensive corps does not exactly rival Philadelphia's or Chicago's, Tallon will probably shift his focus to the team's forwards. The fact is that the Panthers have trouble scoring (2.46 goals-per-game as a team last season which placed them 28th overall in the NHL) and it is almost impossible to win in today's league without putting the puck in the net.


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E.J. Hradek

Senior Writer, ESPN The Magazine
E.J. Hradek is a senior writer at ESPN The Magazine, joining the staff prior to its launch in 1998. He began covering hockey as a writer/editor for Hockey Illustrated in 1989.