Dale’s credentials speak for themselves – over 30 years with the Chicago Blackhawks organization, architect of the team we are now watching in the Western Conference Finals, over 600 games as an NHL defenseman.
But yesterday, what really struck me, and got me excited about the future of this franchise, is what he had to say…
“I will do everything in my power to bring playoff hockey back to Florida and to eventually attain the goal of winning the Stanley Cup. That’s the ultimate goal.”
“I’m committed to the blueprint that we developed in Chicago…and that’s the type of team we’re going to build here in Florida.”
“Our motto when we took over in Chicago was ‘Character, size, speed, skill and more character.’ And that’s what we’re going to adhere to.”
After Dale’s press conference, I had numerous people come up to me to say something along the lines of, “we’ve never heard someone talk like that around here.”
It wasn’t just what Dale said, but how he said it, and that he has the credentials to back it up. Of course, we wouldn’t be so fortunate to have Dale Tallon as our new General Manager, without the incredible work and intelligence of Bill Torrey, and the commitment from Managing Partners Cliff Viner and Stu Siegel, to go out and find the best GM possible.
The response thus far, has been tremendous. Once the press release went out on Monday, we started getting phone calls and e-mails, just to say what a great hire we’ve made. That continued with great columns from the Miami Herald’s David J. Neal and the Sun Sentinel’s Dave Hyde and Ethan Skolnick, all heaping praise on Tallon for his experience and abilities.
Around the office, the change in mood was palpable – our employees truly feel as if this is the opening of a great new chapter in Panthers history. And Dale isn’t waiting long to get to work. He is already in Germany meeting with head coach Pete DeBoer and then will make his way to the NHL combine next week in Toronto, before returning to South Florida for a Cats Cookout with fans ahead of June’s NHL Entry Draft.
Thanks to Randy Sexton – who should be commended for his class and professionalism throughout this transition process, as well as his years of service to the organization – we will enter the draft with four picks in the first two rounds and the most picks we’ve had in a number of years.
Those are tools that Dale will use to immediately put his stamp on this team, and it’s reason for our fans to be excited for what is ahead. It’s also yet another reason to participate in our You Make The Pick promotion
on FloridaPanthers.com. For any fan that’s ever wanted to know what goes on behind the scenes at the NHL draft, both before and after the Panthers make their first round pick, this promotion is for you.
Of course, the general manager isn’t the only thing that’s going to be different at the BankAtlantic Center next season. We are already working on a new marketing campaign and ideas, as well as a load of new game presentation enhancements that will make the BankAtlantic Center one of the best parties in town every Panthers gamenight.
It certainly is a new beginning. Thanks for reading and go Panthers.