The Florida Panthers and general manager Dale Tallon have come to a mutual agreement to part ways, the team reported Monday.
“For the last decade, Dale raised the team’s profile, attracted key players to South Florida and brought character and class to our franchise,” said Panthers owner Vincent Viola. “When we purchased the Panthers in 2013, we did so with a singular goal: to win a Stanley Cup. We have not seen our efforts come to fruition. We will now begin an organizational search for the next general manager.”
The decision to part ways comes after the Panthers were eliminated from the playoffs Friday, dropping their series to the New York Islanders in four games.
Tallon was hired in May of 2010 and his team made the post-season three times in his span as general manager. Two of the three times, Tallon and Co. had to watch as the Islanders shipped out the Panthers.
The former GM’s fingerprints are on this franchise, with the drafting of Jonathan Huberdeau, Aleksander Barkov, and Aaron Ekblad among his success stories. Tallon also helped bring Joel Quenneville into the fold as head coach and delivered Jaromir Jagr for an inspiring run starting in 2015.
But the Panthers haven’t won a playoff series since 1996, even if they did set team records during the regular season for wins under Tallon. The elusiveness of post-season success continues to haunt the franchise, even as they improve fortunes in other ways.
“I would like to thank the South Florida fans and community for the last 10 years, and the Viola family for the last seven with this franchise,” Tallon said. “I have had the opportunity to work with a group of first-class individuals including a mentor of mine, the late William A. Torrey, and I’ve had the privilege of watching the development of the organization’s young talent who have become great players and even better people.”
The Panthers are among the eight teams with a 12.5 percent chance of landing the top pick in the 2020 NHL Entry Draft, which puts them in the running for Alexis Lafreniere. That could help deepen the impressive prospect pool, which would obviously give the new general manager a leg up.