SUNRISE, FLA – Sunrise Sports & Entertainment General Partner Cliff Viner announced today that the Florida Panthers and Executive Vice President & General Manager Dale Tallon have agreed to a multi-year contract extension. As per club policy, length or financial terms of the contract will not be disclosed.
"We are very pleased to have agreed to a contract extension with Dale," said Viner. "Over the last two years, he has worked tirelessly to re-position our team and hockey operations department. Our team’s success can be attributed directly to Dale’s passion, leadership and the motivation that he has instilled in our organization. He has assembled a hockey management team and a roster of driven players that are focused on making the Florida Panthers a successful organization both on and off the ice."
"I am very grateful to Cliff and all our partners for providing me the opportunity to sign an extension with the Panthers," said Tallon. "Through the hard work of our diligent hockey operations staff we have changed the environment and culture of our club, developing a new identity for the Florida Panthers. I am very proud of our coaching staff, players and support staff for all that we accomplished this season. We are driven each day to make our team better and to reach our ultimate goal of bringing a Stanley Cup championship to South Florida."
Since joining the Panthers in May 2010, Tallon has been responsible for reshaping the club’s hockey operations department, as well as the team’s player personnel. In just two years, he assembled a team which finished the 2011-12 season with a 38-26-18 mark and 94 points – its most since totaling 98 points in 1999-2000 (43-27-6-6). The Panthers earned their first Division title in franchise history and the team’s first playoff berth since 2000. For his efforts, Tallon was selected as a finalist for the NHL’s Executive of the Year that will be awarded in Las Vegas on June 20.
After finishing the 2010-11 season with 72 points and 15th place in the Eastern Conference, Tallon hired new head coach Kevin Dineen in June of 2011. Dineen led the team to the Southeast Division title and a 22-point increase in the standings from the previous season.
Other key hires made by Tallon include Assistant General Manager Michael Santos (July 2010), Assistant Coaches Gord Murphy (July 2010) and Craig Ramsay (July 2011) and Director of Player Development Brian Skrudland (July 2010).
Tallon made a splash in the 2011 offseason when he completely revamped the Panthers lineup, adding 10 players that would be mainstays on the Panthers roster in 2011-12. His most noteworthy moves came in trading for players including Brian Campbell and Kris Versteeg, before signing free agents Tomas Fleischmann, Jose Theodore, Sean Bergenheim, Ed Jovanovski, Scottie Upshall and multiple other players who had the best statistical seasons of their careers in 2011-12. He also made improvements to the Panthers line-up throughout the regular season by acquiring six veterans (Mikael Samuelsson, Marco Sturm, Krys Barch, John Madden, Wojtek Wolski and Jerred Smithson).
In addition to the current Panthers roster, Tallon has ensured the Panthers will have a bright future by loading up on draft picks and top prospects. Florida is listed No. 1 among all NHL teams for best prospects by Hockey’s Future, having been rated in the Top 4 in each of the last four bi-annual ratings. Since joining Florida, Tallon has conducted two successful NHL Entry Drafts that have seen the club stockpile 23 picks, including four first-round selections: [No. 3 – F Jonathan Huberdeau (2011), No. 3 – D Erik Gudbranson (2010), No. 19 – C Nick Bjugstad (2010) and No. 25 C Quinton Howden (2010)].
Prior to joining the Panthers, Tallon spent 33 years with the Blackhawks organization as a front office executive, player and broadcast personality. He served as Chicago’s General Manager from June 2005 to July 2009, and assistant GM from Nov. 2003 to June 2005. He was responsible for drafting or acquiring many of the Blackhawks’ top players who won the 2010 Stanley Cup, including Jonathan Toews, Patrick Kane and Marian Hossa. Tallon also serves as a member of the U.S. Men’s National Team Advisory Group, having most recently attended the 2012 IIHF Men's World Championship.
A defenseman, Tallon was Vancouver’s first-round selection (2nd overall) in the 1970 NHL Entry Draft. He played in 642 NHL contests with Vancouver (1970-73), Chicago (1973-78) and Pittsburgh (1978-80) registering 336 points (98-238-336) and 568 PIM. Tallon recorded a career-high 17 goals in 69 games with Vancouver during the 1971-72 season and appeared in the 1971 and 1972 NHL All-Star Games. In 1972, Tallon was picked as an alternate for Team Canada at the 1972 Summit Series against the USSR.
The Rouyn-Noranda, Quebec native was born on Oct. 19, 1950. Tallon and his wife, Meg, have two daughters, Lauren and Kristen.
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