The shadow of Dale Tallon, former general manager of the Florida Panthers, hangs over this Stanley Cup final.

Not only did he see one of his worst decisions turn into a stroke of genius – the monstrous $70 million seven-year contract awarded to goaltender Sergei Bobrovsky in July 2019, one of the big stars of the current playoffs – , but his “gift” to the Vegas Golden Knights when they were born in 2017 could also haunt the Florida organization in the Finals.

On the eve of the draft for the expansion of NHL executives, Tallon had indeed chosen not to protect forward Jonathan Marchessault despite a 30-goal season. He also traded Reilly Smith, 25 goals that year, to Vegas for a modest fourth-round pick.

Tallon had instead opted to include Aleksander Barkov, Aaron Ekblad, Jonathan Huberdeau, Vincent Trocheck, Keith Yandle, Mark Pysyk and Alec Petrovic on his protection roster.

Only Barkov and Ekblad are still playing for the Panthers. Huberdeau reported Matthew Tkackuk. The other four have already left and brought back almost nothing. The two left behind, Marchessault and Smith, are still in Vegas six years later and have had thriving years.

The affront goes back a long way, Tallon has since lost his job and the possibility of winning a first Stanley Cup should be enough, but it is still ironic to see these two face their former organization in a leading role six years later. late.

It also illustrates how Vegas has been able to do great things with small means since its birth in 2017.

Despite the prowess of Jack Eichel, defenseman Alex Pietrangelo remains the most important element on this team, with a time of use of almost 24 minutes per game and his 9 points in 16 games.

Matthew Tkachuk has amassed 21 points in 16 games since the start of the playoffs, including 4 game-winning goals. Something to make dad Keith proud. Son has won more playoffs this spring than his dad in his 18-year NHL career! And brother, Brady, is still waiting to make the playoffs for the first time after five years.

Acquired from the St. Louis Blues for prospect Zach Dean at the trade deadline, Ivan Barbashev has become a key playoff rental player with 15 points in 17 first-line games with Eichel and Marchessault.

Radko Gudas has only 3 assists in 16 games and rarely plays 20 minutes per game, but his contribution is different. He is probably the most dangerous defenseman in the NHL. Vegas players better know where he is on the ice when they have the puck…