Monday, July 13, 2009

Dale Tallon fired

Not necessarily Badger news, I know, but as the Hawks have a number of Badgers in their system, I found it to be an item of interest.

Dale Tallon has been fired as the GM of the Chicago Blackhawks. Assistant GM Stan Bowman (Scotty's son) is taking over the reigns as new GM, effective immediately. (Thanks to TheThirdManIn for the heads-up.)

By the way, Eklund had this as a rumor this morning, and lookie, it actually happened. Who would've thunk?

EDITED TO ADD: Myles pointed out to me that this has "Scotty Bowman" written all over it, and he's not the only person who thinks so (not that I doubted Myles). Here's an interesting blog post from 7/5/09 titled "Dale Tallon Dodging the Chopping Block". It includes links to a couple of interesting articles after Savard was fired.

MORE ETAs: Mirtle's post on the firing is a good read, as is Puck Daddy's.

The Foul Balls blog weighs in with their simultaneous suprise yet lack of shock at the news.

And The Daily Herald give us some insight into the firing, indicating that there have been concerns over Tallon's ability to address this summer's salary cap issues:

There have been whispers in the last year that management questioned whether Tallon could navigate the team through the salary cap issues that were going to present themselves this summer and next when Jonathan Toews, Patrick Kane and Duncan Keith need to be re-signed.

It was also Tallon who signed Dustin Byfuglien to a three-year, $9 million contract before last season that surprised many executives around the league because of the money involved. Another problem contract was Brent Sopel's extension that runs through 2010-11 with a cap hit of more than $2 million for a sixth or seventh defenseman.

The article further indicates (again, just like Myles told me) that, while the RFA blunder is being used as a reason for the firing, it might just be more of an excuse than the actual impetus for the decision:
Tallon was one of last holdovers from the Bill Wirtz regime, which led some to question if he would receive a contract extension despite putting together one of the best young teams in the NHL, mostly through the draft.

According to a source close to the situation, McDonough and Al MacIsacc, the senior director of hockey administration and assistant to the president, might have been looking for a reason to dismiss Tallon, which the restricted free agent blunder provided.