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Front office makeover includes Tallon's hiring

CHICAGO -- The Chicago Blackhawks, who appointed Bob Pulford
interim general manager last month when they fired Mike Smith, took
the "interim" tag off Pulford's title Wednesday as part of a
front-office realignment.

The Blackhawks hired television and radio analyst Dale Tallon as
assistant general manager. He replaces Nick Beverley, who was fired
along with three other members of the team's front office.

For Tallon, the announcement marks his second time in the
Blackhawks' front office. A 10-year NHL defenseman with Vancouver,
Chicago and Pittsburgh, Tallon served four years as the team's
director of player personnel.

"Dale has had experience in the scouting end of the business
and he has done a very good job," Pulford said. "We think his
hockey knowledge will be a great benefit to the Blackhawks in all
areas."

The Blackhawks, off to a 5-5-3 start, also fired Marshall
Johnston, director of player evaluation; Bill Lesuk, director of
amateur scouting; and Joe Yannetti, director of pro scouting.

Replacements for Johnston, Lesuk and Yannetti have not been hired yet.

Tallon had a hand in drafting Steve McCarthy, Pavel Vorobiev,
Michael Leighton and Tuomo Ruutu, all of whom remain with a team
that has made the postseason just once since 1997.

"I always felt that I had some unfinished business," Tallon
said.

Smith lost a power struggle with coach Brian Sutter and was fired. He had just begun his fourth season as GM and his third year working with Sutter, whom he hired in May 2001. But Sutter and Smith didn't see eye-to-eye, and management chose the coach.

Information from The Associated Press and SportsTicker was used in this report.