This just off the press...
July 14, 2009:
CHICAGO (AP) - The Chicago Blackhawks abruptly ousted general manager Dale Tallon on Tuesday, less than two months after the team he helped revive from the bottom of the standings reached the Western Conference finals.
Tallon, who was reassigned to senior adviser of hockey operations, was replaced by assistant GM Stan Bowman, the son of legendary NHL coach Scotty Bowman. The elder Bowman who was hired last year as a senior adviser.
A clerical mistake may have hastened Tallon's departure. Last week, the NHL Players Association filed a grievance against the team, saying the Blackhawks missed the deadline for sending qualifying offers to restricted free agents. The Blackhawks ended up signing all their restricted free agents, including their top rookie from last season, Kris Versteeg.
Tallon denied that the administrative problem and grievance had caused the Blackhawks to overpay the restricted free agents.
Tallon, 58, has been a member of the organization for more 30 years, including five as a player and 10 in the front office. He was named general manager in June 2005 and under his guidance, the team drafted young stars Patrick Kane and Jonathan Toews, made trades for scorers like Martin Havlat and Patrick Sharp, and signed free agents Nikolai Khabibulin, Brian Campbell and Cristobal Huet.
Last season, the Blackhawks started drawing fans back to the United Center and advanced to the playoffs for the first time in seven years, losing to the Detroit Red Wings in the conference finals.
Earlier this month, the Blackhawks signed free agent Marian Hossa from Detroit to a 12-year, $62.8 million deal. Havlat, the team's leading scorer last season, was let go and he was signed by Minnesota.
"I have been with this organization in several different capacities since coming over as a player in 1973 and although my position has changed, my goals have not," Tallon said in a statement released by the team. "I've seen Stan come up through our ranks and I'm confident he is the right person to step in. This is what is best for the Chicago Blackhawks."
Bowman, 36, has been with the team for nine years, including two seasons as the director of hockey operations and four seasons as an assistant to the GM.
"We will not rest until we reach our goal of winning the Stanley Cup and establishing consistent success," he said.
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