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Tallon Still Committed To Hawks' Success

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07/16/2009 9:03 AM - From (link)

"I'm in a good place. I'm still working with the Chicago Blackhawks, a franchise that is deep in my blood. I'm passionate about the Blackhawks. I have an opportunity to help this team win the Stanley Cup. I'm very fortunate."
-- Dale Tallon

Dale Tallon, who was reassigned by the Chicago Blackhawks from general manager to senior advisor, hockey operations, promised Wednesday to continue as a loyal and valuable member of the front office and said his goal remains to help the Blackhawks win the Stanley Cup.

"I'll do whatever it takes to help the Blackhawks win and be a successful franchise," Tallon said during a conference call.

Tallon was replaced as GM on Tuesday by his assistant, Stan Bowman, whose father, Scotty Bowman, joined the Blackhawks last year as a senior adviser. Stan Bowman has been with the Blackhawks for eight years, the last two as assistant general manager under Tallon. His father will continue to serve as senior advisor, hockey operations.

All three report to Blackhawks President John McDonough, who extended Tallon's contract, which ran through the end of the 2009-10 season, for two years at the same salary.

"I'm very fortunate to be with the Blackhawks and I'm very comfortable to be in the position that I'm in," Tallon said. "I'm in a good place. I'm still working with the Chicago Blackhawks, a franchise that is deep in my blood. I'm passionate about the Blackhawks. I have an opportunity to help this team win the Stanley Cup. I'm very fortunate."

"As I said last week when we discussed this and put it to bed -- we filed the paperwork later than we normally do," Tallon said. "We should have filed it sooner, as we have in the past. An issue came up because of the lateness of the mailings. We were able to fulfill our obligations and qualify and sign all the players that we qualified. We're satisfied with what we did. I'll take responsibility for the lateness of it, on my watch, and that's what happened."

Tallon refused to reveal anything from his discussions with McDonough, other than to say, "It's a very good relationship. We're both open and honest. ... I respect his abilities and I've learned a lot from him. Our goals are the same.

"It was a situation where we both agreed this was best for the franchise. He wants to take the team in a different direction and I was fine with it. Although my position has changed, my goal has not. All I want to do is help win the Stanley Cup. I'll be able to that for the next three years, until after 2012. The discussion was very cordial and very businesslike and we agreed this was best for the franchise."

Tallon said Stan Bowman "is more than qualified" to take over as general manager.

"I've worked closely with Stan Bowman. I've worked closely with the whole organization," Tallon said. "Although my position has changed, I will be scouting and helping Stan in every possible way to make sure the Blackhawks reach their goal of winning the Stanley Cup. I'll do whatever is asked of me. I'm very confident that I can give them some valuable insight and make this team better. We're on the same page here in that we all want to win the Stanley Cup. I will do everything in my power to help Stan do that."

Tallon has been with the Blackhawks for more than 30 years. The Vancouver Canucks made him the second pick of the 1970 Amateur Draft, behind only Hockey Hall of Famer Gilbert Perreault, who was taken No. 1 by the Buffalo Sabres. The Canucks traded him to the Blackhawks on May 14, 1973, for defenseman Jerry Korab and goalie Gary Smith.

Tallon played five seasons on the Blackhawks' blue line before being traded Oct. 9, 1978, to the Pittsburgh Penguins for a second-round draft pick. He played his final two seasons in Pittsburgh and retired with 336 points in 642 NHL games.

He joined the Blackhawks' broadcasting crew following his retirement as a player, and then became director of player personnel in 1998. He was promoted to assistant general manager in 2003 and to general manager on June 21, 2005.

The struggling Blackhawks were the third-worst team in the NHL after Tallon's first season, but drafting players like Jonathan Toews and Patrick Kane, trading for Patrick Sharp, Andrew Ladd and Kris Versteeg, and signing Nikolai Khabibulin, Martin Havlat and Brian Campbell helped the Blackhawks get to the 2009 Western Conference Finals.

Tallon also was a top Canadian teen golfer -- he won the 1969 Canadian Junior Golf Championship and later was the club professional at Highland Park Country Club in Chicago -- and had to make the choice between a hockey career and one in golf. His current contract takes him through age 61, so it appears he made the right choice.