The former Chicago GM will now be given the opportunity to build a winner in the Eastern Conference as he did in Chicago while serving as the Blackhawks' GM from 2005-2009.
Tallon also spent five years playing for the Blackhawks and then 16 seasons serving Chicago's fans in the broadcast booths for television and radio. Tallon was named the eighth general manager of the Blackhawks on June 21, 2005.
Yes, there will be those that point at the contracts of Cristobal Huet and Brian Campbell as potential deal-breakers for a long-term run from this current Blackhawks team, but the work Tallon did at drafting, trading for, and developing talent cannot be stated strongly enough; Tallon built the 2009-10 Blackhawks and deserves all the credit.
Let's look at how Tallon built these Blackhawks:
- Jonathan Toews: drafted third overall in 2006.
- Patrick Kane: drafted first overall in 2007.
- Niklas Hjalmarsson: drafted 108th overall (fourth round) in 2005.
- Antti Niemi: signed as a free-agent rookie on May 5, 2008.
- Patrick Sharp: acquired from Philadelphia on Dec. 5, 2005 with Eric Meloche for Matt Ellison and a 2006 third-round pick.
- Kris Versteeg: acquired from Boston on Feb. 3, 2007 for Brandon Bochenski.
- Ben Eager: acquired from Philadelphia on Dec. 18, 2007 for Jim Vandermeer.
- Andrew Ladd: acquired from Carolina on Feb. 26, 2008 for Tuomo Ruutu.
- Marian Hossa: signed as a free agent on July 1, 2009.
- Tomas Kopecky: signed as a free agent on July 1, 2009.
- John Madden: signed as a free agent on July 2, 2009.
- Brian Campbell: signed as a free agent July 1, 2008.
- Cristobal Huet: signed as a free agent on July 1, 2008.
- Brent Sopel: signed as a free agent on Sept. 28, 2007.
- Jordan Hendry: signed as a free agent on March 18, 2006.
These are just the roster moves made while Tallon was sitting in the GM's office. From 1998-2002, Tallon served as the director of player personnel under another GM whose name sounds like Mulford but won't ever be mentioned on CommittedIndians. Then in 2003 Tallon was named the assistant GM for the same idiot who, with Dollar Bill Wirtz, was responsible for the collapse and decay of the Blackhawks franchise.
While sitting in his two previous positions, though, Tallon was responsible for the draft strategy and talent evaluation of the team. In the drafts while he was in those roles, consider the following draft picks:
- Duncan Keith: drafted 54th overall (second round) in 2002.
- Adam Burish: drafted 282nd overall (ninth round) in 2002.
- Brent Seabrook: drafted 14th overall (first round) in 2003.
- Dustin Byfuglien: drafted 245th overall (eighth round) in 2003.
- David Bolland: drafted 32nd overall (second round) in 2004.
- Troy Brouwer: drafted 214th overall (seventh round) in 2004.
When you consider the roles that these six players have had this season, highlighted by Keith's Norris Trophy nomination, and the reality that Seabrook is the only first round pick among them, it's clear that Tallon has a fabulous eye for talent.
As Tallon moves on to Florida, we wish him the best and congratulate Panthers fans on having one of the great men in the game joining their team.
From the Committed Indians everywhere, thank you, Mr. Tallon, for the work that you did building this team.
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