Sunshine State Shakeup: Tallon Out, Sexton In As Panthers' GM

The Florida Panthers are looking for a new direction, and it began on Monday with the hiring of Dale Tallon as general manager. He replaces Randy Sexton, who held the job on a permanent basis for just one season after Jacques Martin left to take a coaching position with Montreal.

Here's the press release from the team:

The Florida Panthers announced today that Dale Tallon has been named the team’s new general manager, replacing Randy Sexton. Tallon will be introduced at a press conference at the BankAtlantic Center on Tuesday, May 18 at 11 a.m.

"On behalf of the entire organization, we are thrilled and honored to open a new chapter in Florida Panthers franchise history with the hiring of Dale Tallon as general manager," said Panthers managing partners Cliff Viner and Stu Siegel. "Dale brings with him a proven track record and an impressive franchise-building resume that we believe is the perfect fit for the future of the Panthers organization. We thank Randy Sexton for his service to our organization and appreciate his continued support throughout this transition process."

"It is with great pleasure and excitement that I join the Florida Panthers," said Tallon. "I would like to thank Managing Partners Cliff Viner and Stu Siegel, Alternate Governor Bill Torrey and President/COO Michael Yormark for giving me the opportunity to put my mark on this franchise. I look forward to getting to work and will immediately evaluate our club’s framework, as we diligently prepare for the upcoming draft and free agency signing period."

Tallon, 59, 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 ’05 to July ’09, and assistant GM from Nov. ’03 to June ‘05. He was responsible for drafting or acquiring many of the Blackhawks’ top players who have contributed to back-to-back Western Conference Finals appearances including Jonathan Toews, Patrick Kane, Marian Hossa, Patrick Sharp, Kris Versteeg, John Madden and Brian Campbell.

Our Panthers blog, Litter Box Cats, reacted to the news:

Co-owners Stu Siegel and Cliff Viner had several months ago promised a number of extensive changes to be implemented throughout the offseason, and this could definitely be considered "extensive".

This is an action that probably even most Sexton fans (of which I am one) can get behind; the club has finally hired a bona fide, post-lockout (read: salary cap) experienced and solidly respected manager. No disrespect to Sexton, and we're certainly not planning parades quite yet, but this guy's the real deal.

The 59 year-old Tallon, a former NHL defenseman with Vancouver, Chicago, and Pittsburgh, is generally considered the architect of the today's Chicago lineup, having with a bit of luck drafted Patrick Kane and Jonathan Toews while wooing Marian Hossa to the 'Hawks, among many others.

The move allows for just over five weeks preparation time heading into the Entry Draft. And while he waits for the new office to be painted, there's always this appetizer to tackle.

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