The NHL says that after conducting an outside investigation, allegations that former Florida Panthers GM Dale Tallon made “inappropriate racial, religious, and ethnic comments” while in the NHL bubble were not substantiated.
The league received an anonymous tip in August that said Tallon used racially derogatory language while the team was in the Toronto bubble, “and had in the past made openly racial, religious, and ethnic comments,” according to a statement released on Thursday. On the same day the NHL received the allegations, the league retained Seyfarth Shaw LLP to conduct a full, confidential investigation.
“Among other steps, Seyfarth interviewed over a dozen individuals in the Panthers’ organization, and reviewed all information made available from representatives of the source through which the anonymous report was made,” the NHL said in a statement. “The allegations were neither corroborated nor substantiated, and are inconsistent with Tallon’s past actions and his affirmative efforts in support of diversity and inclusion initiatives. As a result, based on the investigation, the NHL has further concluded that there has been no established violation of NHL policy or protocols.”
The Panthers made the NHL’s extended postseason format but were eliminated by the New York Islanders in the qualification round in four games. The team hired Bill Zito as its new general manager in September. Zito, a former player agent, had previously served as the assistant GM with the Columbus Blue Jackets.