Panthers reward GM Tallon with extension

The Florida Panthers have rewarded executive vice president & general manager Dale Tallon with a multi-year contract extension.

Tallon made Kevin Dineen head coach in June of 2011 after the Panthers went 30-40-12 during the 2010-11 season.

Dineen guided the team to a 38-26-18 mark in 2011-12. The 94 points was the franchise's most since totaling 98 points in 1999-2000 (43-27-6-6). The Panthers also earned their first division title and the team's first playoff berth since 2000.

Tallon was selected as a finalist for the NHL's Executive of the Year that will be awarded in Las Vegas on June 20.

"I am very grateful to Cliff [Viner, team general partner] and all our partners for providing me the opportunity to sign an extension with the Panthers," said Tallon. "Through the hard work of our diligent hockey operations staff we have changed the environment and culture of our club, developing a new identity for the Florida Panthers. I am very proud of our coaching staff, players and support staff for all that we accomplished this season. We are driven each day to make our team better and to reach our ultimate goal of bringing a Stanley Cup championship to South Florida."

The 61-year-old Tallon has made many key hires during his time in Florida: assistant general manager Michael Santos (July 2010), assistant coaches Gord Murphy (July 2010) and Craig Ramsay (July 2011) and director of player development Brian Skrudland (July 2010).

He also completely revamped the Panthers lineup in the 2011 offseason, adding 10 players that would be mainstays on the Panthers roster in 2011-12. Tallon's most noteworthy moves came in trading for players including Brian Campbell and Kris Versteeg, before signing free agents Tomas Fleischmann, Jose Theodore, Sean Bergenheim, Ed Jovanovski, Scottie Upshall and multiple other players who broke through in 2011-12.

In addition, Tallon acquired veterans Mikael Samuelsson, Marco Sturm, Krys Barch, John Madden, Wojtek Wolski and Jerred Smithson this past season.

"We are very pleased to have agreed to a contract extension with Dale," Viner said. "Over the last two years, he has worked tirelessly to re-position our team and hockey operations department. Our team's success can be attributed directly to Dale's passion, leadership and the motivation that he has instilled in our organization. He has assembled a hockey management team and a roster of driven players that are focused on making the Florida Panthers a successful organization both on and off the ice."

Prior to joining the Panthers, Tallon had spent 33 years with the Blackhawks as a player, broadcaster and front office executive. He served as Chicago's assistant GM from 2003 to June, 2005 and then took over as the general manager and served in that role for four years.

Tallon spent the 2009-10 season as the senior advisor of hockey operations for the Blackhawks.

Vancouver made Tallon the second overall pick in the 1970 NHL Entry Draft and he wound up playing 10 seasons for the Canucks, Blackhawks and Penguins. During his career, he was a two-time All-Star and tallied 98 goals and 238 assists.