Thursday

Dale Tallon

Dale Tallon was a very talented junior player, heralded as a future superstar when he was drafted 2nd overall in the 1970 Amateur draft, only behind Hall of Famer Gilbert Perreault. Although he felt most comfortable as a defenseman he played center as well.

The expectations on him were tremendous. Vancouver thought that they had their franchise player in Tallon, but he never became that franchise player for them.

Dale's dad Stan pushed him when he was 15 to become a top hockey prospect. Dale became the MVP on his home team Noranda Copper Kings, and then under the direction of Gilles Laperriere played for the sister city Rouyn Citadels. Already at that early age Dale starred as both a defenseman and center. His dad recognized the potential in his son and contacted Alan Eagleson to ask him to advise and guide Dale.

Dale went to Oshawa to play for the Generals, but immediately had the pressure on him to follow in the footsteps of the illustrious Bobby Orr, another Eagleson client. A trade was made shortly thereafter, and he went to the Toronto Marlboros, also of the OHA. He enjoyed two good years with the Marlboros before being drafted by the Canucks.

The 6'1" and 200lbs Dale enjoyed a very fine rookie season in the NHL, scoring 56 pts (14 goals, 42 assists). He followed that up with another solid season (44 points - 17 goals and 27 assists), but somehow that never seemed to be enough.

He was added to the Canadian squad in the famous 1972 Summit Series. He never played against the Russians and only appeared in two "friendly" games against Sweden and Czechoslovakia.

When his 1972-73 season saw another drop in his production, the Canucks lost their patience with him and traded him to Chicago for Jerry Korab and goalie Gary Smith on May 14, 1973. Tallon welcomed the trade, and made it known to the Canucks that he wanted out. He did not get along at all with Canucks vocal coach Vic Stasiuk, and threatened to sign with the WHA if he was not granted a trade.

Dale had received a couple of WHA offers but decided to stay in Chicago where he signed a three year deal worth approximately $125,000 per season. Dale was happy to get out from Vancouver and start over again. As soon as he got to the windy city there was some controversy though. The Chicago management planned to give Dale sweater number 9 --- Bobby Hull's old number. At first he accepted, since it was his jersey number at Vancouver, but there was a large public outcry against the move, Bobby Hull was an icon, and you don't give away his number just like that. So in training camp, Dale asked not to have the number, and was promptly given number 19 instead.

Dale began working on a line as the center for Chico Maki and Lynn Powis, they were primarily a checking line. He eventually enjoyed his most productive season in Chicago when he had 62 points (15 goals and 47 assists) in 1975-76.

His production fell considerably the following two seasons and he was traded to Pittsburgh for a future draft choice on October 9,1980. Dale then played two more seasons in Pittsburgh. By that time he hadn't been considered a franchise player for a long time, he was just another NHL player.

After the 1979-80 season he retired, only 29 years old. He finished his career with 642 regular season NHL games (336 points) and 33 playoff games (12 points).

Tallon went on to become a long time Chicago broadcaster and then a successful manager in retirement, not to mention a top amateur golfer.

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