The firing of Dale Tallon was a surprise to me and many, if not all, other Hawks fans alike. How could you fire the man who brought a team from last place to the Western Conference Finals in just 3 years?
At first, not many people knew. A lot were thinking that it had something to do with the Hawks not sending out the letters to the unrestricted agents in time, a move that could have lost all players but that didn’t end up bad as the Hawks signed all of them. Tallon took all the responsibility for the mistake, which probably wasn’t even his fault.
Just a couple days later the Hawks and Tallon split ways. It sent a shock wave all around the NHL. Hawks players were surprised, fans were surprised, and even sports writers were surprised.
The firing left one question: Why?
A lot of people first said that he was fired because of the letters getting there late, but after further investigation that is not the case. Turns out John Mcdonough never did like Dale Tallon. Tallon was not signed by Mcdonough, who wanted to bring in his own guys, and once he could he pounced on it. He fired Tallon and assigned Stan Bowman as the new GM. Stan Bowman is the son of Scotty Bowman, the Hall of Famer and a senior adviser for the Hawks.
The players loved Tallon. Havlat said that many players saw him as a father figure. While I think the Hawks will be fine with Bowman as GM, I still can’t help but think that the players are a little mad. It should not affect their playing, but the players have the right to be a little upset.
“McDonough couldn’t stand that Dale was so successful and getting the credit for building the Hawks from a last place team to making the Conference Final in three short years. Remember, we were also the youngest team in the NHL last year. I was too closely identified with Dale. McDonough knew long ago he was going to fire Dale. He wanted someone he could claim as his own He wanted to stand up at the convention and claim credit for signing this guy or that guy,” said Havlat on the Tallon firing.
Fans don’t seem to be happy either. They booed Mcdonough at the second annual Hawks convention. Mcdonough knew there was going to be some trouble after the firing, but his face showed he didn’t expect to be booed.
Bowman has pretty much the same plans for the Hawks, and is very aware of the salary cap problem they will have face, but he still stayed positive that the Hawks will deal with them the right way. Hawks fans can only hope so. They don’t want to see what could be a great franchise years down the road have to give away most of their key players that could make them a Cup contender.
On other news the 2009-2010 schedule has been released. you can see it here.