Tuesday, July 14, 2009


Since being named general manager of the Blackhawks in the summer of 2005, Dale Tallon worked tirelessly to put together a young and talented core of players that are supposed to bring a Stanley Cup back to Chicago.


Now it will be up to his former assistant to see it through.

The Hawks officially announced Tuesday that Tallon has been reassigned to Senior Advisor, Hockey Operations and replaced in the GM's chair by Stan Bowman, the son of legendary coach Scotty Bowman and an Assistant GM for the past two seasons.

The Blackhawks have scheduled a 4 p.m. ET news conference at United Center. It will be streamed live on NHL.com.

"We are very proud to promote Stan to his new position of general manager," Blackhawks President John McDonough said in a statement. "He brings a comprehensive knowledge of hockey, along with a tremendous intellect and methodical approach to building a successful team and sustaining success. His involvement with our organization and strong understanding of our roster and our system create a very natural and strong transition. Dale will continue to be an important part of our organization, as he has been for many years."

Bowman, who has a finance background, has been with in the Hawks for the last eight seasons. He spent four seasons as the Special Assistant to the GM, two as Director of Hockey Operations and the last two as an assistant GM. He graduated from the University of Notre Dame in 1995 with a degree in finance and computer applications.

Scotty Bowman remains in the Hawks front office as Senior Advisor, Hockey Operations.

"It is an extreme honor to accept this promotion with the Blackhawks, an Original Six franchise," Stan Bowman said in the statement. "Over the last eight years I have been intricately involved in every facet of our Hockey Operations and take great pride in the talent and character that we have assembled. We will not rest until we reach our goal of winning the Stanley Cup and establishing consistent success for the Chicago Blackhawks and our fans."

Tallon, who has been with the organization for more than 30 years, has been credited for helping reshape the Hawks into a Stanley Cup contender. But he recently came under fire for sending qualifying offers to eight restricted free agents late.

He insisted the offers were sent out by the June 29 deadline. But eight RFAs -- Cam Barker, Kris Versteeg, Corey Crawford, Ben Eager, Colin Fraser, Troy Brouwer, Aaron Johnson and Bryan Bickell -- received their offers after the deadline.

The NHL Players Association filed a grievance, but the Hawks signed all eight players to new contracts. Barker and Versteeg, a Calder Trophy finalist, received three-year deals reportedly worth roughly $9 million; Tallon said both were "fair-market value" deals, though both were far more than the players made in 2008-09.

While that snafu and the public embarrassment it caused the Hawks certainly didn't help Tallon, there are questions in various print and online reports as to how much it really hurt him and whether he was on his way out the door anyway.

One report suggested there were disagreements in the front office about contract negotiations and style of play. Tallon was also going into the final year of his contract and while he told the Chicago Tribune he had not asked for an extension, the newspaper reported Tuesday that sources said he had twice been turned down.

Moreover, with the additions of Marian Hossa, Tomas Kopecky and John Madden as well as new contracts for Dave Bolland, Versteeg, Barker and the remaining restricted free agents, the Hawks are currently over the $56.8 million salary cap for 2009-10.

Stan Bowman will have until the day before Chicago's season begins in Helsinki, Finland, to put together a 23-man roster that meets the NHL's salary cap restrictions.


There are also serious questions as to how, with hefty contracts already doled out to Hossa, Brian Campbell, Cristobal Huet and Patrick Sharp, the Hawks will be able to re-sign core players Jonathan Toews, Patrick Kane and Duncan Keith, all of whom can become restricted free agents after the 2009-10 season. Brent Seabrook and Dustin Byfuglien are due for new contracts after the 2010-11 season.

However, when Tallon announced the signings of Hossa and Kopecky on July 1, he said Hossa's 12-year contract worth a reported $62.8 million would not affect how the team handles its young core going forward.

Tallon took over the Hawks on June 21, 2005, after spending seven years as the team's Director of Player Personnel. He went about remaking the team.

He tried doing it on the fly by signing goalie Nikolai Khabibulin and trading for Sharp, but the Hawks finished in fourth in the Central Division and 14th in the Western Conference in 2005-06. They got to pick third in the 2006 Entry Draft, and Tallon selected Toews.

Prior to the 2006-07 season, Tallon brought in Martin Havlat via a trade, but the Hawks fared no better. Havlat played in only 56 games due to injuries, and the Hawks finished last in the Central and 13th in the West. They won the draft lottery and selected Kane first overall.

Tallon spent significant money in the summer of 2008, signing Campbell and Huet to long-term contracts. Four games into the season, he replaced Denis Savard behind the bench, bringing in former Colorado coach Joel Quenneville.

Of the 22 players currently listed on the Hawks roster on chicagoblackhawks.com, Tallon was responsible for signing, drafting or trading for 14 of them.

"I have been with this organization in several different capacities since coming over as a player in 1973 and although my position has changed, my goals have not," Tallon said in a statement. "In my new role as Senior Advisor, Hockey Operations I will continue in any way that will help make this a better product on the ice. I've seen Stan come up through our ranks and I'm confident he is the right person to step in. This is what is best for the Chicago Blackhawks."

1 comment:

  1. O, mine...
    It's so dirty now everywhere...
    Tallon has great job done, it wasn't enough for Bowman the senior. He needs to put his son up...