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Wednesday March 2, 2011 4:55 pm

There’s a method to Dale Tallon’s madness




Posted by Adrien Griffin Categories: Athletes, NHL, Rumors, Trades,

Dale TallonNow that the NHL trade deadline has passed and we’ve had a chance to let the dusts (or lack of dust) settle, it’s good to see hockey is once again the focus of the hockey world. It’s also good to see that many of the recently-moved players are already on the scoresheets. Jason Arnott assisted on Brooks Laich’s third period goal in his first game with Washington, Bryan McCabe also has an assist with his new New York team, and even Cory Stillman scored for the Carolina Hurricanes, at the expense of his former Florida Panthers.

It’s those same Panthers that have everybody guessing. After seemingly trading away the entire roster, how is this team going to compete? Currently 12th in the Eastern Conference, clearly GM Dale Tallon figured this wasn’t the time to be a buyer. And so the fire sale began. McCabe, Chris Higgins, Bryan Allen, Dennis Wideman, Radek Dvorak and others are out, youth and prospects are in. And don’t forget, two of Tallon’s biggest assets are still in town in Steven Weiss and Tomas Vokoun.

Clearly there’s a blueprint involved. Some might think Tallon has lost his mind, but remember that he’s largely responsible for the rebuild in Chicago, and with the exception of some contract issues, that ended pretty well last season. Weiss and Vokoun may still be moved in the summer, after other teams see the weaknesses they had that prevented them from winning a Stanley Cup. That’s when Tallon can step in and again shop around a respected center and goalkeeper.

The positive for Tallon is that there’s no pressure to get great fast; certainly not in Florida. For next season alone he has a ton of high draft picks stocked up and about $25-$30 million in available cap space. But will his contract last as long as his rebuilding plans? He didn’t quite last as long as he would have liked in Chicago, so there has to be some motivation to make things happen sooner rather than later in Florida.

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