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Florida Panthers name Dale Tallon new GM @NHL

SUNRISE, Fla. (AP) -The Florida Panthers have named Dale Tallon as the club's new general manager, replacing Randy Sexton less than a year after he was officially named to the post.

The Panthers made the announcement on Monday, a day ahead of a news conference at which the 59-year-old Tallon is to be introduced. Tallon comes to Florida after spending years with the Chicago Blackhawks organization, including five as a player.

"Dale brings with him a proven track record and an impressive franchise-building resume that we believe is the perfect fit for the future of the Panthers organization," Cliff Viner and Stu Siegel, Florida's managing partners, said in a statement.

Sexton, officially named as Panthers GM in October, oversaw the team's contract negotiations, scouting, administration and player development after Jacques Martin left the franchise in June to coach the Montreal Canadiens.

"We thank Randy Sexton for his service to our organization and appreciate his continued support throughout this transition process," Viner and Siegel said.

Tallon was hired as Chicago's general manager in June 2005 but was moved to a senior adviser of hockey operations position in 2009 - less than two months after the Blackhawks advanced to the Western Conference finals.

The Blackhawks drafted young stars Patrick Kane and Jonathan Toews during Tallon's tenure as GM, and he was credited with trades and free-agent acquisitions that helped turn around the once-struggling franchise.

Tallon has quite a challenge awaiting him in Florida. The Panthers, who finished last in the Southeast Division this season, haven't been in the playoffs since 2000. They also haven't won a postseason series since 1996 or a playoff game since 1997.

"I look forward to getting to work and will immediately evaluate our club's framework, as we diligently prepare for the upcoming draft and free agency signing period," Tallon said in the statement.

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