Panthers GM Search Part 1


Well, Dale Tallon is done. The Panthers need a new General Manager. I have researched 20 options which will be divided into 4 parts of 5 candidates. Here is Part 1 of our search.

I will be giving each candidate a grade from A+ to F-

Eric Joyce

Eric Joyce - MIT Sloan Analytics Conference
Eric Joyce, the assistant GM of the Florida Panthers. Image Credit to MIT Sloan Sports Analytics Conference.

Current Position: Assistant General Manager

Current Team: Florida Panthers

Resume: A former National Security expert, Joyce was brought in with the Tom Rowe era in 2016, and is one of the few survivors. Joyce, along with Steve Werier apparently almost offersheeted Nikita Kucherov in the 2016 offseason. Joyce has been the Assistant GM of the Panthers and the GM of the Springfield Thunderbirds. The Thunderbirds under Joyce’s tenure have left a lot to be desired, but its possible that Joyce was probably handcuffed by Dale Tallon. It would be interesting to see Joyce take over. An article this weekend by The Province seemed to hype up Joyce and a lot of chatter has been made about him taking over after Pronger left. Joyce’s hockey resume is pretty short as he came in with Viola.

Consensus: Despite Joyce’s seemingly decent ideas during the Rowe era, a Joyce front office would not be the best option. The Florida Panthers are simply a mess right now in hockey operations. To keep Joyce would be to keep the same endless cycle of futility that has plagued the organization. The current Panthers roster doesn’t want to put in the effort to win (except for maybe Jonathan Huberdeau).

Grade: C-

Scott Mellanby

Wild Interview Scott Mellanby For GM Position.
Scott Mellanby, the Assistant GM of the Montreal Canadiens. Image Credits to Hockey Insiders.

Current Position: Assistant General Manager

Current Team: Montreal Canadiens

Resume: For Panther fans, Scott Mellanby is royalty. One of the faces on the Panthers Mt Rushmore, Mellanby was a key part of the franchise in the early years, helping them to the Cup Finals. The 1996 Panthers didn’t have a lot of talent, but they had a lot of heart. They outworked every other team. They outworked the Jagr/Lemieux Penguins. The Montreal Canadiens outworked the Pittsburgh Penguins this year. Mellanby has brought this ethic into the Montreal Canadiens organization. Mellanby has largely been hindered in Montreal by Marc Bergevin, but he is definitely ready for his own role.

Consensus: Infusing the old 1996 hard work ethic into a dead corpse of a team, with twice as much talent should hopefully revitalize the team. Mellanby could be a big draw for old fans to come back, and could potentially help restore confidence in the locker room. Mellanby also has the confidence of @HockeyRobThough, the expert of Panthers twitter who is always right. Mellanby has been mentioned by both George Richards and John Shannon as possible candidates. I think Mellanby is the best candidate for the Panthers.

Grade: A

Roberto Luongo

Roberto Luongo career timeline: Draft to retirement
Roberto Luongo (NHL.com)

Current Position: Special Advisor to the General Manager

Current Team: Florida Panthers

Resume: Another face on the Panthers Mt. Rushmore, Roberto Luongo is considered one of, if not the greatest Florida Panthers of all time. Luongo’s two runs in the Sunshine State over his lengthy career were often fraught with a poor team in front of him. Following his retirement, Luongo was named as a Special Advisor to the GM.

Consensus: Luongo’s playing career ended recently, and I don’t think he is the best choice right now. Luongo only has one shortened season of experience in the press box, and to thrust him right into the shot caller would be a bit premature. Luongo needs a few more years to learn the ropes. Another thing is that the new GM needs to bring in a culture change. I don’t know if someone who has been around the organization this long can do that, especially someone from the Dark Ages.

Grade: D

Bobby Clarke

Bobby Clarke (b.1949) Hockey Stats and Profile at hockeydb.com
Bobby Clarke (Hockey DB)

Current Position: Senior Advisor to Hockey Operations

Current Team: Philadelphia Flyers

Resume: Turning the clock back to 1993, Bobby Clarke was the first GM of the Florida Panthers. He only lasted one year before returning to the City of Brotherly Love. A former member of the Broad Street Bullies, Clarke is enshrined in the Hockey Hall of Fame and was largely the starpower for the feared Flyers machine in the seventies. Clarke has several years of management skill but has not been a GM since 2006.

Consensus: Clarke is a good pick and a bad pick. He’s a good pick, because if the Panthers bring him in, it can help revamp the loser mentality that has plagued the franchise since the Bush administration. However, Clarke does not have a good record with his star players and coaches, notably clashing with Eric Lindros and his mishandling of Roger Nilsson’s cancer treatment may not be a good fit. On the other flip of the coin, Clarke not cozying up to his stars could be what this team needs to win a cup. Clarke’s style of old time hockey would likely see a continuation of the Dale Tallon blueprint, where depth tough guys like Dominic Toninato are given opportunities over prospects like Owen Tippett.

Grade: C+

Bryan McCabe

Bryan McCabe - Wikipedia
Bryan McCabe (Wikipedia)

Current Position: Director of Player Personnel

Current Team: Florida Panthers

Resume: The former Panther captain has ben serving in the Panthers organization for many years.

Consensus: McCabe has been with the team for a long time but like I said, a culture change is needed in Hockey Ops. The difference between him and Luongo is that McCabe has more experience in player development.

Grade: D+

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