Posts Tagged ‘Dale Tallon’ NHL fan misery rankings: No. 6 Florida Panthers

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Florida Panthers fans

Empty seats and ugly hockey are a common sight at Florida’s BB&T Center. (Joel Auerbach/Getty Images)

By Allan Muir

Sometimes it’s just plain awful to be a fan.

We’re not talking about the occasional emotional bump and bruise, the kind fans get from a devastating last-second loss or a disastrous season-ending injury — or even when they watch their favorite team bow out in the conference finals, one round shy of a shot at the Stanley Cup. We mean years of suffering at the hands of a club that almost seems to delight in tormenting those who freely give to it their hearts, minds, time and money.

This is the fifth in our series on the 10 NHL franchises that take an ongoing toll on their fans, the teams that suggest that their devoted followers are either bottomless wells of hope or certified masochists–or perhaps just a touch crazy. Today we look at the Florida Panthers, who reached the 1996 Stanley Cup Final in their third year of existence but have since secured squatter’s rights on Futility Boulevard while creating a rather lonely experience for those who have the intestinal fortitude to attend their games.

TEAM 10: Winnipeg Jets | 9: Dallas Stars | 8: Columbus Blue Jackets | 7: Vancouver Canucks
5: Edmonton Oilers | 4. Washington Capitals | 3. Buffalo Sabres | 2. New York Islanders
1. Toronto Maple Leafs

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  • Published On Feb 27, 2014
  • Florida Panthers fire coach Kevin Dineen; Peter Horachek steps in

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    Coach Kevin Dineen was fired by the Florida Panthers

    A 3-9-4 start made Kevin Dineen the second NHL coach to get the boot this season. (Eliot J. Schechter/Getty Images)

    By Allan Muir

    You knew it was only a matter of time before Florida Panthers GM Dale Tallon took measures to right his listing hockey team. This morning, he did.

    After suffering a seventh consecutive loss Thursday night in Boston, and just days after saying that his coach’s gig was safe, Tallon fired Kevin Dineen along with assistants Gord Murphy and Craig Ramsay Friday. Peter Horacheck was named as Dineen’s replacement on an interim basis.

    “After 16 games it was clear that our team needed a change in philosophy and direction,” Tallon said in a press release. “We have not met the expectations that we set forth at training camp and it is my responsibility to make the necessary changes to ensure that our club performs at its maximum potential. We thank Kevin, Gord and Craig for their hard work and dedication to our organization and the professionalism that they displayed throughout their tenure.”

    Horacheck was serving as head coach of Florida’s top farm team in San Antonio. “He’s a no-nonsense guy, a good communicator,” Tallon said. “We’ll give him a chance to show his wares.”

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  • Published On Nov 08, 2013
  • More bad news for Panthers: Trade bait Kris Versteeg out for season

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    By Allan Muir

    In theory, things could get worse for Florida Panthers GM Dale Tallon. Jonathan Huberdeau could decide that the shootout’s not really his thing anymore. Alexei Kovalev could have signed a five-year deal. Those freaking quarter-sized mosquitoes could set up shop around the ticket windows at the BB&T Center.

    The way things are going for Tallon this season, it’s just a matter of time before the next little black cloud appears over the head of hockey’s answer to Bad Luck Schleprock.

    Tallon took another kick in the pants today when he learned that speedy forward Kris Versteeg would need season-ending knee surgery following an awkward collision with Tampa Bay defender Radko Gudas on March 12. Versteeg, who had just returned after missing 13 games with a chest injury, was expected to be shipped off at the trade deadline in exchange for some much-needed futures.

    Unlike unrestricted free agents Stephen Weiss and Jose Theodore, Versteeg is under contract for three more seasons, so he won’t walk for nothing this summer. But this was considered the window that would allow the Panthers to maximize the return on the veteran winger, and with Florida’s other key chips off the table, Versteeg was Tallon’s last chance to make a splash before the deadline.

    It’s another tough break for a team that’s had more than its share this season.

  • Published On Mar 14, 2013