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Division-leading Panthers reward GM Tallon with contract extension

Jared Clinton
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Dale Tallon (Eliot J. Schechter/NHLI via Getty Images) Author: The Hockey News

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Division-leading Panthers reward GM Tallon with contract extension

Jared Clinton
By:

Dale Tallon has turned the Panthers from a basement team to playoff contender in less than six seasons as GM, and Florida has rewarded him with a contract extension. The extension is reportedly three years long. The only player on the Panthers roster from before Tallon arrived is defenseman Dmitry Kulikov.

Panthers GM Dale Tallon has taken Florida from a basement team to the current leaders of the Atlantic Division — a division that includes the Boston Bruins and Montreal Canadiens — in six seasons. And now he will have closer to a decade to see what he can turn the Cats into.

The Florida Panthers announced Friday they have signed Tallon to a multi-year extension that will kick in following the 2015-16 season. According to the Miami Herald’s George Richards, Tallon’s new deal is a three-year pact, meaning the Panthers GM will be in his ninth season with the team should he remain in Florida for the length of the extension.

“I want to thank Vinnie Viola and his partner Doug Cifu for the opportunity to continue to build what our hockey operations department has started here in Florida,” Tallon said in a release. “I’m excited for what the future holds for our team with an exciting nucleus of young players along with our mix of veterans.”

Under Tallon, the Panthers roster has been almost entirely rebuilt. The only member of the 2010-11 Panthers that is currently a part of Tallon’s 2015-16 Panthers is defenseman Dmitry Kulikov, who had been drafted the year prior in the first round, 14th overall, at the 2009 draft. The rest of the roster has been slowly assembled by Tallon via the draft, free agency and trades.

Of the big name selections Tallon has made at the draft, the Panthers currently have Aaron Ekblad, Aleksander Barkov, Jonathan Huberdeau and Erik Gudbranson in the lineup. Some of Tallon’s best signings include Jussi Jokinen and goaltender Al Montoya. But his record sparkles in terms of trades. He reshaped the Panthers blueline with the acquisition of Brian Campbell in 2011, he picked up a goaltender to solidify the net by trading for Roberto Luongo in 2014 and his acquisition of Jaromir Jagr at the 2015 trade deadline has paid huge — albeit unexpected — dividends for Florida.

Of course, Tallon’s not without his lemons. The signing of Dave Bolland to a monstrous five-year, $27.5-million deal hasn’t helped the club one bit and picking up Shawn Thornton in free agency hasn’t had much impact on the on-ice product. That said, overall, Tallon has taken a once hopeless team and turned them into what appears to be a legitimate playoff team in six short seasons.

Tallon was the architect behind the Chicago Blackhawks 2010 Stanley Cup winning team, and he’s attempting to do it again in Florida. Tallon brought Jonathan Toews, Patrick Kane, Marian Hossa and Brian Campbell to Chicago before the Blackhawks won their first Stanley Cup, and Tallon was also part of the group responsible for the drafting of Duncan Keith, Brent Seabrook and Niklas Hjalmarsson.

In addition to giving Tallon an extension, the Panthers promoted Tom Rowe to associate GM. Rowe was the coach of the AHL Portland Pirates, but will be replaced Scott Allen.

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Division-leading Panthers reward GM Tallon with contract extension