It was reported late last night on Comcast Sports Net Chicago that the Blackhawks have fired general manager Dale Tallon. An official announcement is expected today to announce assistant GM Stan Bowman as his replacement. Yet ABC 7 Chicago also says Tallon will remain as a consultant/senior adviser.
Tallon did some quality things since being named GM in 2005. The Blackhawks have his draft picks and players that came over as free agents. It is apparent, though, that Bowman was critical in helping Tallon make these acquisitons. After all, Bowman knows hockey with his father Scotty being a long-time coach of the Red Wings and now in the Hawks' front office.
Stan Bowman has been with Chicago for the last decade, and when he is announced as the new head GM, the franchise should remain on the path to resurgence. For the most part, the Blackhawks have an entire new front office since John McDonough's arrival from the Cubs as president. Many faces remain, but their job titles are different.
As far as why Tallon was fired, the Hawks must feel, first off, that Bowman is the better fit to run the organization. It did take a while for Tallon to re-sign some of the players this offseason, and he did not even mail out the qualifying offers to some in time. Players like Kris Versteeg are still with the club, but Bowman may have been able to keep them here a little more efficiently.
Tallon remaining with the organization continues a pattern of adding these "senior advisers" or "consultants" to the club. The Hawks gave former greats Stan Mikita, Bobby Hull and former coach Denis Savard the same title. I remember Mikita saying at the time that he didn't know what that meant exactly, but he does enjoy being part of another winning Chicago hockey team. I am sure Tallon will be the same way, just like Savard was when he was fired by Tallon and the Hawks early in the past season.
All the changes, additions, and subtractions the team has made the last few years seem to work. Nobody complains when you keep bringing wins to the standings, and this should continue, except Tallon will not have his name in the newspaper as much.