Dale Tallon

Opinion: The Florida Panthers need to win now or make changes

By: Andy Slater (@AndySlater)

The Florida Panthers recently changed ownership. The team is staying in South Florida, but should their coach and general manager? If they don't start winning immediately, the answer is no. 

Gerard Gallant was named the Panthers head coach in 2014. To date: 46 wins, 57 losses.

Dale Tallon was named the Panthers general manager in 2010. To date: 158 wins, 239 losses.

The Panthers are owned by Vincent Viola and Doug Cifu --- two guys who are passionate, very successful businessmen, and are absolutely all about winning.

Winning, though, isn't something the Panthers have been doing a lot of. 

The franchise's last playoff-series win came before ground was broken on their arena, BB&T Center, 19 years ago. 

There were league-wide expectations this season for the Panthers that they'd be playing postseason hockey. Plenty of games remain, but they currently find themselves in 11th place in the Eastern Conference standings --- five points back of the final playoff spot.

The Panthers highest paid forward, Dave Bolland, will be benched for the second straight game Friday night. Tallon signed Bolland to a $27.5 million, five-year deal in 2014. Bolland has just seven goals in 71 games since arriving.

Gallant is the team's fourth head coach since Tallon became the Panthers GM in 2010. Peter DeBoer --- not hired by Tallon --- was fired in 2011. Tallon named Kevin Dineen head coach and then fired him 16 games into his third season. Peter Horachek took over for Dineen in 2014. Horachek coached the team's final 66 games and was then dismissed.

Do the Panthers have the right ownership? Yes.

Do the Panthers have the right combinations on the ice? It's hard to tell because they keep changing.

Do the Panthers have the right coach and GM? Win now or the answer is no. 


(Photo Credit: Getty Images)