Reports are swirling that just days before their second annual fan convention, the Chicago Blackhawks have fired General Manager Dale Tallon.
What had appeared to be an inevitable move, Tallon will be replaced by Stan Bowman, son of legenday coach and former Detroit GM Scotty Bowman. Scotty joined Stan Bowman on to the Hawks staff last summer, with Stan becoming the assistant General Manager.
Now he'll lose the "assistant" title.
Tallon took over as the Blackhawks' GM in June of 2005 and has been largely responsible for putting together the resurrection of the franchise. Whether through the draft, free agency, or trades, most of the players on the ice for the 2009-10 Hawks have joined the team during Tallon's tenure.
Last summer, though, questions were raised as Tallon made aggressive moves early in free agency. Brian Campbell and Cristobal Huet were brought in for big money contracts, bigger than many thought either was worth.
Tallon was the unsuccessful in his attempts to trade and, eventually, sell goaltender Nikolai Khabibulin's contract. The veteran goalie had a wonderful season, though, and carried the Hawks to the Western Conference Finals.
Stan Bowman will be asked to bring his family's expertise in handling the salary cap into play, as the Blackhawks face a series of very important summers in the coming years. Next year, the young faces of the franchise, Patrick Kane and captain Jonathan Toews, as well as Duncan Keith and Andrew Ladd, will be free agents.
The following summer, Brent Seabrook will need a new contract.
It appeared that the Bowmans were all over the contract of Marian Hossa earlier this summer, a 12-year deal that successfully lowered the salary cap impact of the All-Star enough that it kept some salary cap flexibility available.