8:36 pm: Harvey Fialkov reports that Panthers CEO Matt Caldwell reached out to him to say that nothing has changed in the managerial hierarchy involving Tallon. In a series of tweets, Caldwell indicates that Viola never met with Tallon to hand over personnel reins while also indicating that group discussions among the ownership group determines decision making. Further, Fialkov tweets that the latest chapter in the ongoing saga of Panthers hockey is too much “he said, she said” talk that is too tough to prove.
7:54 pm: Out with the old, in with the–old? Darren Dreger tweets that Dale Tallon will assume control during a time for the Panthers that has been turbulent. Dreger adds a series of tweets on Tallon’s updated status with the Panthers. Tallon will take over day to day operations and bring stability to an organization that has had a tough few weeks–and season. Elliotte Friedman adds that Florida owner Vinny Viola said that “nothing has changed” regarding Tallon’s status as having the “final say” in personnel decisions. Friedman is baffled by this, wondering why a report would even be made if nothing changed. In the official release of Tallon’s promotion back in May, the Panthers indicated that “Tallon will continue to oversee all aspects of hockey operations in this role including scouting, player acquisition and development.” Technically speaking, Tallon was still in charge of overseeing all aspects of hockey.
Dreger tweets that Tallon will not oversee an overhaul but will want to reevaluate things. He adds that the firing of Gerard Gallant was a poor choice, and that decisions needs to be made with one voice in charge. Further, Dreger tweets that the players trust Tallon and that the move will add some much needed stability to the team. Finally, he tweets that Tallon will not ignore analytics. Instead, he’s looking to improve team defense and make them tougher to play against.
The Panthers have been in flux this season and after firing Gallant in a move widely panned throughout the league, there’s been little improvement with general manager and now head coach Tom Rowe guiding the ship. The move to place Tallon in a position to have more say is one that certainly helps the Panthers’ chances.
Regardless of how it’s explained, it’s been a strange chapter of hockey in Miami.
- Meanwhile in Detroit, Ken Holland told the Detroit News’ Ted Kulfan that he’s unhappy with the latest Red Wings loss. This time, it was a 4-1 clunker against the lowly Arizona Coyotes. Though the Red Wings outshot the Coyotes, they went nearly 15 minutes without registering their first shot and were sloppy, as turnovers led to Coyote goals. Factor in a couple bad goals allowed by Jimmy Howard and its a recipe for what captain Henrik Zetterberg called an “embarrassing” loss. Holland has been criticized by a number of analysts for his contractual decisions. Many have cited Holland’s undying loyalty to players he drafted as a reason for the Wings’ precarious situation–namely Justin Abdelkader, Jonathan Ericsson, Darren Helm, and Jimmy Howard. Kulfan writes that the Red Wings offense is also a culprit, as they have continued their yearly slippage when it comes to finding the back of the net. Additionally, there has been a lot of criticism lobbed at bench boss Jeff Blashill for playing the wrong players (Brian Lashoff immediately comes to mind) or juggling lines too much. While this can be said of almost every coach in the league, Blashill’s margin of error seems narrower because of the Wings’ consistent struggles. Holland indicates that he’s been talking to other GM’s in the league, but Holland is not one to trade in the salary cap era. Should the Wings continue their downward spiral, it will be interesting to see what they decide to do.