GM Journal

G.M. Journal: Midseason Form

Friday, 01.14.2011 / 1:37 PM ET / Blogs
Florida Panthers
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G.M. Journal: Midseason Form
A exclusive, Panthers general manager Dale Tallon will be sharing his thoughts with Panthers and hockey fans throughout the year in his blog entitled G.M. Journal.


We’re just past the midpoint of the NHL season, and now is the time to make some honest evaluations of our franchise and talk about the things we need to do to achieve our goals.
As the trade deadline approaches in late February, the media are levying questions and trying to figure out which teams will be “sellers” and which teams will be “buyers.”
I don’t look at things that “black and white.” For me, everything is about the big picture and what is best for the overall future of this franchise.
We’ve made our goals very clear. We want to make the playoffs on a consistent basis and become a Stanley Cup contender. To achieve those goals, we can’t handcuff ourselves by making moves or transactions that don’t make sense, just because of the trade deadline. We’re not going to shop and purge, we’re going to do what’s right for the franchise. We have to always look at the big picture, period.   
To that end, our pro scouting staff is in South Florida this week to help with those evaluations. It’s an incredible advantage for us to have sharp hockey minds like Scott Luce, Pete Mahovlich, Al Tuer, Assistant GM Mike Santos and others, in our meetings and helping us make informed decisions that will directly affect our future success.
For our fans, it may be hard to recognize the impact that scouting and support staff can have on a hockey franchise. But look no further than players like Mike Santorelli or Mike Weaver, who flew under the radar when they were acquired but have been significant contributors for us this season. Or look at the performance of our five players at the World Junior Championship, four of which were drafted just this past summer. Those are the dividends paid by strong scouting and smart management decisions. We talk about our plan and our blueprint for success, and scouting is a significant part of it.
Another big part of our plan is attitude, and so far, I like what I’ve seen from our team. Last night we got a real character win over a very good Nashville club to even our record at 20-20-2. We're not having a party to celebrate being back at .500, but you really have to appreciate how hard our team has played, and the consistent effort they’ve put in almost every night. I haven’t given up on this team, not by a long shot, and I’m confident we’re going to push for a playoff spot right until the very end.
Overall, I like what our players are saying, I like how they’re conducting their business, and I like the vibe in that locker room. I think our players really feel that we are headed in the right direction, and that they have a chance to be part of something special, part of the solution for this Panthers franchise.
And I think our fans are getting a whiff of that. I’d like to think they feel good about our plan, and that they feel like a part of our blueprint. Truth is, they are. For a fan base that has endured a decade without a playoff appearance, our fans are remarkably loyal and energized.
They come to the BankAtlantic Center every night, and support our team with great passion and enthusiasm, which we sincerely appreciate. We need that support from our fans, and hopefully it will only continue to grow as we take the next steps and continue to build the team, and the organization, that we all want.
We are still in the beginning phases here. We’ve brought in a new attitude and a new culture. We’ve set a standard of how we conduct our business. But there is more work to be done and we have a crucial stretch upcoming. As a team we have to continue to play well through the second half of the season and hopefully in to the playoffs. We have to make the right decisions at the trade deadline. We have to conduct another great Draft in June and then take our momentum right through free agency and in to training camp.
Lots of work to be done, but lots of fun to be had as well. Hockey is a game, after all.




1 p - WSH 82 56 18 8 252 193 120
2 x - PIT 82 48 26 8 245 203 104
3 y - FLA 82 47 26 9 239 203 103
4 x - NYR 82 46 27 9 236 217 101
5 x - NYI 82 45 27 10 232 216 100
6 x - TBL 82 46 31 5 227 201 97
7 x - PHI 82 41 27 14 214 218 96
8 x - DET 82 41 30 11 211 224 93
9 BOS 82 42 31 9 240 230 93
10 CAR 82 35 31 16 198 226 86
11 OTT 82 38 35 9 236 247 85
12 NJD 82 38 36 8 184 208 84
13 MTL 82 38 38 6 221 236 82
14 BUF 82 35 36 11 201 222 81
15 CBJ 82 34 40 8 219 252 76
16 TOR 82 29 42 11 198 246 69


J. Jagr 79 27 39 23 66
J. Jokinen 81 18 42 25 60
A. Barkov 66 28 31 18 59
J. Huberdeau 76 20 39 17 59
V. Trocheck 76 25 28 15 53
R. Smith 82 25 25 19 50
A. Ekblad 78 15 21 18 36
N. Bjugstad 67 15 19 -8 34
B. Campbell 82 6 25 31 31
B. Pirri 52 11 13 -4 24
R. Luongo 35 19 6 .922 2.35
A. Montoya 12 7 3 .919 2.18 is the official Web site of the Florida Panthers. Florida Panthers and are trademarks of the Florida Panthers Hockey Club, Ltd. NHL, the NHL Shield, the word mark and image of the Stanley Cup and NHL Conference logos are registered trademarks and NHL Draft name and logo are trademarks of the National Hockey League. All NHL logos and marks and NHL team logos and marks as well as all other proprietary materials depicted herein are the property of the NHL and the respective NHL teams and may not be reproduced without the prior written consent of NHL Enterprises, L.P. Copyright © 1999-2016 Florida Panthers Hockey Club, Ltd and the National Hockey League. All Rights Reserved.