Yandle believes having Tallon back in charge will galvanize Panthers

Posted: 01/08/2017 in NHL, Sports
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Between injuries to star players, an erratic front office, and long stretches of subpar on-ice play, the Florida Panthers simply couldn’t get it going in 2016-17.

Just a season prior, the Cats reached new heights, claiming their second-ever division title with a franchise-best 103-point output. Now, eager to put last season’s troubles behind them, Panthers defenseman Keith Yandle believes Dale Tallon’s return to his role as general manager will help the club get back on track.

“Having Dale back in charge, I think that was the main thing that got everyone going,” Yandle told Dan Rosen of NHL.com earlier in July. “You sense the power over the locker room that Dale can have. It’s such a positive thing when you have a guy like Dale Tallon. Everyone respects him and everything he does for the team. Going into the season knowing he has our back, he has the team, and obviously that he hired great coaches too, it’s a great thing.”

Tallon occupied Florida’s GM seat from 2010-16, but was bumped up to president of hockey operations as Tom Rowe took over the gig. Rowe also served as Panthers head coach last season after the acrimonious firing of Gerard Gallant just 22 games into the campaign.

The optics of the situation weren’t good, and early injuries to star forwards Jonathan Huberdeau and Aleksander Barkov quickly stifled Florida’s postseason aspirations.

Since resuming his duties as GM, Tallon’s hired Bob Boughner to his first NHL coaching gig, and lured KHL star Evgeny Dadonov to Florida on a three-year contract. However, after losing both Jonathan Marchessault and Reilly Smith to expansion, as well as Jaromir Jagr and Jussi Jokinen to free agency, Tallon may have some work to do yet.


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