Ex-Panthers GM Dale Tallon Under NHL Investigation for Alleged Racist Language

Mike Chiari@mikechiariFeatured ColumnistAugust 28, 2020

FILE - This is a July 2, 2019, file photo showing Florida Panthers President of Hockey Operations & General Manager Dale Tallon at a news conference in Sunrise, Fla. The Florida Panthers will have a new general manager next season, making the announcement early Monday, Aug. 10, 2020, that Dale Tallon is leaving the franchise after 10 years. The Panthers were eliminated from the playoffs on Friday, falling to the New York Islanders in four games. (AP Photo/Wilfredo Lee, File)
Wilfredo Lee/Associated Press

The NHL is investigating an allegation that former Florida Panthers general manager Dale Tallon used racist language while in the NHL bubble in Toronto.ย 

George Richards of FloridaHockeyNow.com was the first to report the news. NHLย deputy commissioner Bill Daly later confirmed to ESPN's Emily Kaplan that the league is investigating Tallon over an alleged comment that "did involve race."

After the Panthers were eliminated 3-1 by the New York Islanders in the NHL's qualifying round earlier in August, the organization decided against signing Tallon to a new contract, thus ending his 10-year tenure in Florida.

It isn't publicly known what Tallon allegedly said or when he said it, but it reportedly happened while he was in Toronto for the NHL's postseason qualifying round.

The 69-year-old Tallon joined the Panthers as their GM in 2010 after a lengthy tenure with the Chicago Blackhawks. Tallon began as the Blackhawks' director of player personnel in 1998, was promoted to assistant GM in 2003 and then became the general manager in 2005.

In 2009, Tallon was demoted from GM to senior adviser in favor of Stan Bowman. The Blackhawks went on to win the 2010 Stanley Cup, which gave Tallon his first championship.

Chicago also won the Cup in 2013 and 2015, and although Tallon left the Blackhawks for the Panthers in 2010, he has long been credited for building the Chicago team that won three Cups in six seasons.

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Tallon was responsible for drafting or acquiring many of the players who played key roles on those Blackhawks teams, including Jonathan Toews, Patrick Kane and Marian Hossa.

During his 10-year stint in Florida, the Panthers only went to the playoffs twice, not including their spot in the qualifying round this season.

Tallon built a talented team that includes the likes of Aleksander Barkov, Jonathan Huberdeau, Mike Hoffman and Aaron Ekblad, but his time in Florida was largely a disappointment.