Obviously, we’ll always have a soft spot for Uncle Dale around these parts. Fuck, we named the goddamn site after him, or his malfunctioning fax machine. The way he was torpedoed here in Chicago is still a mark of shame that McDonough will never answer for. And he’s still the architect of one of, if not the, most talented teams in this era of the NHL.
One wonders now how that ever happened.
Tallon has spent the past two years borking the Florida Panthers, seemingly in a quest to disprove the “Computer Boys” that ran the team for a season and a half when he was kicked upstairs. Except that involved gifting Jonathan Marchessault and Reilly Smith to the Golden Knights for nothing, and they ended up forming two-thirds of one of the most devastating lines in hockey last year. He’s constantly bleated on and on about being tougher to play against, except the defense he’s constructed in incredibly easy to play against because they suck out loud. In true Tallon fashion, they’re all sizable. In true Tallon fashion, they can’t do much else but be big, aside from Aaron Ekblad and Keith Yandle, we guess.
In his time at the helm, Tallon has added Aleksander Barkov, Jonathan Huberdeau, and Ekblad to the team. But they were all top-three picks, which is pretty much his legacy here in Chicago. He’s just competent enough to not fuck up a top-three pick, which really should be something just about anyone with the right amount of oxygen intake should manage. There hasn’t been much else. Vincent Trocheck is a good piece taken in later rounds, but the Panthers continue to languish. There’s been two playoff appearances in a decade, and nary a series win. Both seem to have been engineered on goaltending from either Luongo or Craig Anderson.
Remember, Tallon’s major accomplishment in Chicago was adding Jonathan Toews and Patrick Kane, also both top-three picks. And he got lucky that the Penguins and Blues opted for players that weren’t Toews. Niklas Hjalmarsson and Marcus Kruger were nice, late-round additions as well, but that’s just about the sum of Tallon’s drafting here. And trading for Martin Havlat and signing Marian Hossa. Let’s give him that as well.
Tallon isn’t the worst GM in the NHL. Probably not even close. But he’s also far from a genius, and give anyone a couple of top-three picks and they just might create a dynasty.
But hey, he took those players. That’s more than Stan or McDonough can claim.
Game #39 Preview Suite