Dale Tallon would go on to earn more notoriety as an executive than as a player, and he might have shown his business acumen before he played his first NHL game. A few weeks after being drafted by the expansion Vancouver Canucks, Tallon and his agent, R. Alan Eagleson, were able to negotiate what at the time was the biggest rookie contract in NHL history. Tallon, who was paid more than Bobby Orr earned in his first NHL season, signed a deal with a reported $50,000 in base salary with bonus clauses that could take him up to $100,000 for the 1970-71 season if he were to play in every game (which he did manage to do). In that era, these were huge numbers, and the deal upset a number of NHL veterans, who quickly began calling for pay increases.
|First contract:||August 5, 1970|
|Debut:||October 9, 1970
(Vancouver vs. Los Angeles)
|Final NHL game:|| April 14, 1980 (playoffs)
(Pittsburgh at Boston)
|Numbers worn:||19, 9 (Vancouver); 19 (Chicago);
19, 4 (Pittsburgh)
Vancouver, Chicago, Pittsburgh
Years: 1970-1980. Playoffs: 1974-1980
|Stanley Cup Playoffs|
|Complete statistics available at NHL.com|
Sept. 11, 1968 -- Traded
by Oshawa (OHA) to Toronto for Rick Kessell, Bob Kelly, Tom
Foxcroft, Chuck Gyles, and Bob Smith. May 14, 1973 -- Traded by Vancouver to Chicago in exchange for Jerry Korab and Gary Smith.
Oct. 9, 1978 -- Traded by Chicago to
Pittsburgh in exchange for 1980 second-round pick (Ken Solheim).
June 13, 1979 -- Left unprotected by
Pittsburgh for NHL Expansion Draft but was reclaimed by Penguins as a
fill-in after Tom Edur was selected off their roster.
Full Name: Michael
Dale Lee Tallon
Other Post-Draft Teams: Dallas (CHL); Syracuse (AHL)
Broadcasting Career: Named Toronto radio color commentator on Jan. 10, 1981, after Mike Nykoluk was promoted to head coach, and remained in that position through 1981-82 season. ... Named Chicago television (road games) and radio (home games) color commentator prior to 1982-83 season and remained in that position until Sept. 7, 1998. ... Named Chicago television color commentator on July 16, 2002, and held position until Nov. 5, 2003.
Education: Attended Ryerson Polytechnic Institute and Meisterschaft College in Toronto.
Family: Son of former Canadian senior player Stan Tallon, who was once coached by Eddie Shore.
Tallon is arguably the greatest golfer ever to play in the NHL. Already a junior champion in Canada prior to the draft, he competed in amateur tournaments during off-seasons and went on to play on the Canadian PGA Tour, joining in 1972. After his retirement, and while he was broadcasting Chicago games, he worked as the head golf pro at clubs in Highland Park and Naperville, Ill. He also had a spot on the Celebrity Players Golf Tour for many years and later became a regular in major senior amateur tournaments while working as an NHL executive. Tallon has a scratch handicap, and once shot a round of 67 in competition. In the summer of 1979, he won a club championship on crutches as he recovered from a broken leg.
Also played all three forward positions during his NHL career. ... Played on first Vancouver team during franchise's inaugural season on 1970-71, and made his NHL debut in team's first game on Oct. 9, 1970.
... Set Vancouver record (since broken) for assists by a rookie with 42 in
1970-71. ... Set Chicago single-season record (since broken) for assists by
a defenseman with 47 in 1975-76. ... Played for Team Canada in the 1979
Izvestia Tournament in Moscow. ... Was finalist for NHL General Manager of the Year Award in
Tallon was traded by Vancouver to the Chicago Black Hawks after the 1972-73 season. At that time, Black Hawks Hall of Famer Bobby Hull had already defected to the WHA and was starring for the Winnipeg Jets.
Chicago management was certainly not happy about Hull's having left the
team, and his famous No. 9 jersey was a subject of controversy. No Chicago
player wore the No. 9 in 1972-73, Hull's first season in the WHA, and fans
were hoping that no one would wear it again until it was officially retired
in Hull's honor. However, the Black Hawks organization -- perhaps as a
message to Hull -- opted to assign Tallon No. 9 for the 1973-74 season. He
had been wearing No .9 in Vancouver, and the Black Hawks wanted him to start the season wearing No. 9 in Chicago.
They announced this at a mid-summer press conference, where Tallon told
reporters : "I'm a little surprised to get No. 9, but I consider it an
honor. The fans? It's very simple -- if I score three goals in a game,
they'll cheer me. If I don't, they won't cheer." The whole No. 9 thing turned
out to be a very bad idea. Tallon ended up wearing the number for the first
week of Chicago's 1973 training camp and even posed for publicity photos as
No. 9, but controversy raged among longtime fans. After that first week, Tallon asked if he could have No. 19 instead,
since he had also worn that number in Vancouver. Chicago
management accepted his decision without any argument. Tallon then played as
No. 19 in the Chicago Stadium preseason opener on Sept. 23 vs. Montreal.
After the game, Tallon said: "As far as I'm concerned, that No. 9 is sacred.
Bobby Hull was one of the three greatest players who ever played this game,
and since they gave it to me at that press conference last month, I haven't
stopped thinking about it. It's been worrying me sick, everywhere I go
people are asking me about it, and it's been like a weight around me. I was
surprised when they gave it to me at that press conference. They shoved it
at me and what was I going to say, 'I don't want it?'. I don't want to make
a big thing about it. I just don't feel comfortable wearing it." No one ever wore the No. 9
for Chicago again.
Tallon had the privilege of earning a spot on the Team Canada squad that competed against the Soviet Union in the 1972 Summit Series. Only 21 at the time he was named to the squad, and coming off knee surgery that had ended his 1971-72 season, he was with the team throughout the series but did not get a chance to play because there were many more experienced NHL stars on the roster. The Canadians rallied to win the series in the dramatic eighth game at Moscow. As part of Team Canada, Tallon was honored with induction into the Canadian Sports Hall of Fame alongside his Summit Series teammates in 2005.
Missed remainder of 1971-72 season with torn ligaments and cartilage in left knee, an injury suffered when he was checked by Bob Plager late in the third period of Vancouver's March 19, 1972, game vs. St. Louis. The injury required season-ending surgery on March 20. ... Missed part of 1973-74 season with cracked bone in left wrist, an injury suffered when he was checked by Ed Van Impe during Chicago's Dec. 22, 1973, game at Philadelphia. He did not return until Chicago's Jan. 20, 1974, game vs .Vancouver. ... Missed most of 1974-75 season with dislocated hip, an injury suffered when he was checked by Mike Robitaille during Chicago's Nov. 12, 1974, game at Vancouver. He left the ice on a stretcher and did not return until Chicago's Jan. 25, 1975, game at St. Louis. He then went down to Chicago's CHL team in Dallas on Jan. 27 for a rehab stint that lasted seven games until Feb. 10. Prior to that demotion, he had never played in the minor leagues. ... Missed remainder of 1978-79 season with compound fracture of right leg, an injury suffered when he crashed into the goal post during Pittsburgh's March 13, 1979, game at Vancouver. He did not return to action until a rehab assignment with Syracuse (AHL) in November 1979 and participation in the Izvestia Tournament, followed by his return to Pittsburgh lineup on Dec. 26, 1979. ... Missed part of 1979-80 season with sprained knee.
Named Chicago Director of Player Personnel on Sept. 7, 1998, and remained in that position until July 16, 2002. ... Named Chicago assistant general manager on Nov. 5, 2003, and remained in that position until June 21, 2005. ... Named Chicago General Manager on June 21, 2005, and remained in that position until
|July 14, 2009. ... Named Chicago Senior Advisor, Hockey
Operations on July 14, 2009, and remained in that position until
May 17, 2010. ... Named Florida Executive Vice President and
General Manager, Hockey Operations on May 17, 2010, and
continues to hold this position.|
|Selected by Minnesota Fighting Saints in 1972 WHA Draft, the first WHA Draft, February 1972.||Played right wing rather than defense for most of the 1971-72 season with Vancouver.||Played center for first two years in Chicago before being moved back to defense in 1975-76.||Played on line with Chico Maki and Lynn Powis for Chicago in 1973-74.|
|Won Stanley Cup:||12|
|Hall of Fame:||3|
|1970 PICKS BY TEAM|
OTHERS DRAFTED IN 1970