Welcome back to my weekly Prospects Ramblings column! While I had planned on unveiling a mock draft that was conducted by myself and a few other members of the scouting community, the multiple seven game series have delayed that to next week. Stay tuned, as I’ll unveil the first round next Friday, coupled with the second round the following Friday. Instead, today I look at the questionable moves of the Florida Panthers, the Championship Rouyn-Noranda Huskies of the QMJHL, and the top goaltenders rated for the upcoming draft.
For lack of a better term, I believe the Florida Panthers are allergic to success.
Dale Tallon, a well-respected hockey man who has been steering the ship for this moribund club since 2010, has been “promoted” to another position within the club. This new position happens to carry less authority over hockey operations. Mike Dixon, the Director of Hockey Operations, has also been relieved of his duties, as has associate coach John Madden.
The expectation is that Tom Rowe, currently Associate General Manager, will assume the role of GM in the near future.
There is little to support that Tallon is happy with this move – frankly, it would appear on the outside that it wouldn’t be his first choice as he was “moved out” of the role. This, to me, is positively baffling.
Over the past season, the Panthers enjoyed arguably their most successful campaign in recent memory. Though falling in the first round to the New York Islanders, the club reenergized their fan-base and emerged as a legitimate threat for the first time in years. This was in no small part to Tallon’s influence, particularly on the draft floor.
Under the former Blackhawks GM’s guidance, the club has built a highly impressive core. Below is listed some of the players drafted and developed during his regime.
Erik Gudbranson (2010), Nick Bjugstad (2010), Jonathan Huberdeau (2011), Vincent Trochek (2011), Aleksander Barkov (2013), and Aaron Ekblad (2015) have all had their names on a Panthers jersey during this time. This is also to say nothing of the fact that names like Mike Matheson, Ian McCoshen, and Lawson Crouse among others remain developing for the club.
Why is it, then, that the Viola fa