The Chicago Blackhawks have shaken up their front office, replacing general manager Dale Tallon with his assistant, Stan Bowman, the team announced Tuesday.
Tallon has been shifted to the position of senior adviser of hockey operations, the same role held by Bowman's father, legendary NHL head coach Scotty Bowman.
The moves come 10 days after Tallon took responsibility for the fiasco involving seven of Chicago's restricted free agents. Tallon didn't get the qualifying offers in before the June 29 deadline, and the NHL Players' Association filed a grievance.
The gaffe essentially ended up costing the Hawks millions, as the team had to scramble in order to re-sign the players. These included rookie-of-the-year finalist Kris Versteeg and defenceman Cam Barker.
Barker and Versteeg, who were paid almost a combined $1.2 million US last year, are now in line to make around $3.1 million US each next season.
Under the NHL's agreement with the NHLPA, if the Blackhawks had sent the offers in on time, they only would have had to give the players 10 per cent raises at most, unless the player filed for salary arbitration or if another NHL team signed them to an offer sheet. All seven eventually re-signed with the club.
"We are very proud to promote Stan to his new position of general manager," Blackhawks pesident John McDonough said in a release on the team's website. "He brings a comprehensive knowledge of hockey, along with a tremendous intellect and methodical approach to building a successful team and sustaining success."
Bowman calls GM promotion 'an extreme honour'
The younger Bowman has been with the Blackhawks for almost a decade, acting as assistant GM for the last two seasons before the promotion.
"It is an extreme honour to accept this promotion with the Blackhawks," Bowman said. "We will not rest until we reach our goal of winning the Stanley Cup and establishing consistent success for the Chicago Blackhawks and our fans."
Tallon joined the Chicago front office in 1998 as director of player personnel and was named Blackhawks GM in June 2005.
He's responsible for the makeup of most of the current team, whose record has improved in each of the subsequent seasons Tallon has been in the GM position, culminating last season in the Hawks' first trip to the Western Conference final since 1995.
"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 the same release. "In my new role as senior adviser, hockey operations I will continue in any way that will help make this a better product on the ice.
"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."
Tallon's most recent coup was signing coveted free agent Marian Hossa to a 12-year, $68.2-million US deal. Tallon was expected to introduce Hossa to the Chicago media on Thursday.
Tallon's mistake ended up costing the Blackhawks over $5 million US in extra salary for the 2009-10 season.
*Source: NHLNumbers.com. All figures are approximate, and in US currency
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