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DALE TALLON TALKS: Panthers Will Talk to Bylsma ... Draft Pick in Play

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Between interviewing players, coaches and potential executives, this has been quite a busy time for Dale Tallon.

Not only do the Panthers have the first pick in the upcoming draft, but Florida has a vacant positions at head coach and assistant general manager.

Tallon said on Friday night that he would have a new coach in place by the draft "at the latest" although he expects to have one hired before that.

Tallon said he has spoken to 12 candidates for the job, but said he had not spoken with former Pittsburgh coach Dan Bylsma as of yet. Bylsma was let loose by the Penguins on Friday morning.

"I do believe we will talk,'' Tallon said, "and see what his interest level is.''

Tallon added that he and Bylsma got to know each other while working for Team USA. "He's a fine gentleman,'' Tallon said. "I like him.''

As far as Florida's top pick in the draft, Tallon said he's fielded plenty of calls but no deal is imminent. With the draft three weeks away, Tallon has plenty of time to talk to teams interested in it.

"We have lots of time to find out what the value of this pick is,'' Tallon said. "We're in a great position. If we keep the pick, we're going to get a great player back in return. If we deal it, we'll get some assets coming back.''

Tallon also said that former Florida center John Madden -- who won the Stanley Cup three times with New Jersey and Chicago -- would be back next season as an assistant to the new coach. Madden started last season as a scout but joined Peter Horachek behind the bench when Kevin Dineen was fired in November.

Brian Skrudland could also return as an assistant, but that would be up to the new coach. Skrudland is under contract through the upcoming season so it's possible that he could return to working in player development although he said he would be interested in returning as an assistant coach.

Florida goalie coach Robb Tallas has an expiring contract on June 30 but Tallon said "we would like to have him back.''



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It will be an awkward situation for the new head coach when Tallon insists that John Madden will be the assistant. Nothing against Madden, but I'm sure the new guy will want to bring in his own people.

Blysma underwhelms me in the fact that his GM gave him a star-studded lineup and the Penguins only managed to win one 1 Stanley Cup. But, then again, it's more than the Panthers!

Penguins have Crosby and Malkin, etc. but not deep in secondary scoring talent. If Crosby, Malkin and a couple others aren't going and are getting shut down, they can't muster enough offense to win when it counts. That hurt them this playoffs, Fluery has hurt them previously. They need secondary scoring talent for the playoffs and that's not Bylsmas fault.

I'd like to see Bylsma seriously considered but also interested in John Stevens. That said, I agree that committing whatever new coach to John Madden as an assistant may very well hurt the ability to hire who Tallon wants. Not smart.

I also don't think Dineen should have been fired. I think it was a new ownership decision for appearances sake but could be wrong. When all was said and done, no one really improved except Upshall who didn't like Dineen. That doesn't justify the move. Horichuk ultimately got nothing more than Dineen would have. It was the roster, not the coach. There is a reason why Horichuk wasn't retained but I don't blame him for where they finished. He just wasn't the right coach.

Big mistake retaining john madden. He's a defensive guy, we need an offensive coach who can improve the pp. the 2nd asst coach must be an ex-defensive man

Best fit is Marc Crawford. A SMART coach WINS with any assistant unless goaltending is crap like last years .

I can't understand how we start to get soft feelings for Dineen. I thought it was a great hire, in the beginning. Doesn't anyone remember how it was basically noted EVERYWHERE that he had "lost the room"? When that happens, and a guy loses patience, the room, surly towards the surroundings that it's time to go? Come on man. Also, you can't expect to get a guy like Bylsma if you tell him he has to use Madden. That makes no sense. If Madden is MORE important than gaining a Bylsma, then just give HIM the head coach job, and I'm NOT in favor of that, as I suppose others are not as well.

It boils down to the owners having a say else you get the same Tallon conditions, same goaltending coaching that produced loss after loss and 'yes sir' assistants. Dineen failed miserably and 3-9 is unacceptable to start a season, only his Mom ,Tallon and an ex-Flyer fan will defend that!

Would be happy with either Bylsma or Crawford - both guys are proven winners, which is something we haven't had too much of around here.

Yeah, Panthers started the season with 6 more losses than wins when Dineen was fired. They finished the season with 16 more losses than wins with Horachek coaching almost all of it. I don't think they ever got close than 3 or 4 games below .500 either. I don't think Dineen ever had a room to lose, neither did Horachek. They had players who didn't bring their game all year long.
Regardless, here we go again. Whatever coach they hire will have more to work with this season. But telling a candidate he has to retain Madden is a mistake. Madden may make a great assistant, and some coaches may accept the terms where a top candidate may not. Tallon needs to pick his man and allow his man to pick his assistants. If he is amenable to keeping Madden as an assistant, that's fine. If he wants his own guys from outside, let him have them. I'd like to see Bylsma behind the bench but I think he'll either collect a pay check from the Pens or he'll end up elsewhere. Maybe Carolina.

Hey Flyer fan, get lost with Dineen-the players hated him. Besides he is a redneck who doesn't like Barkov, Bjugstad. After a 3-9 start not even God could save them out the hole but H did his best with the lousy goaltending who started every game with a 2-3 goals against and at trade line Tallon traded Goc and Weaver and forced on him green prospects.

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