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Florida will ‘definitely’ shop first overall pick, says Tallon

May 2, 2014, 2:18 PM EDT

Dale Tallon AP

Three weeks after winning the No. 1 pick at the 2014 NHL Entry Draft, the Florida Panthers are ready to trade it.

On Friday, Dale Tallon told Sportsnet’s Fan 590 he would “definitely” be shopping the first overall selection, which the Panthers obtained on Apr. 15 after winning the annual draft lottery.

“I’m open for business,” Tallon said. “You have three options, you either take it, move back, or trade it. So that’s what we’re looking at. What’s the best deal for our future, that’s the key.”

When asked specifically if he was merely interested in the idea of moving the pick or had actively planned to shop it, Tallon confirmed the latter.

“I definitely will [be shopping the pick], especially this year,” he explained. “We had a couple of nibbles the day after we won [the lottery]. There were a couple guys calling to bust my chops, asking ‘what are you going to do?’ And that’s fine. It’s a good thing.”

While there’s no consensus No.1 overall pick this year, draft pundits have identified a trio of players that’ll likely vie for the spot: OHL Barrie defenseman Aaron Ekblad, WHL Kootenay forward Sam Reinhart and OHL Kingston forward Sam Bennett, who finished atop the final NHL Central Scouting rankings for the ’14 draft.

Leon Draisaitl, Michael Dal Colle, Nick Ritchie, Nikolaj Ehlers, Jake Virtanen, Kasperi Kapanen and Haydn Fleury are considered other potential top-10 picks, but there’s no clear cut superstar-in-the-making like there’s projected to be next year, when Connor McDavid and Jack Eichel are draft eligible.

That, along with the fact Florida’s already so young, could be why Tallon is prepared to move the pick. In the same interview with Fan 590, he stressed the need for the Panthers to acquire some veteran leaders.

“The thinking is we need stability and experience and someone who’s been through the wars,” he said.

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  1. 127taringa - May 2, 2014 at 2:39 PM

    Why do I get the feeling that Florida is going to get fleeced? Tallon has a chance to get a strong player and build properly through the draft. I’m guessing the new ownership thinks it can trade the pick and sign a couple of free agents and win the cup. The team is nowhere near that IMO.

    • mikebel11 - May 2, 2014 at 3:01 PM

      I don’t think they’ll neccessarily get fleeced. The obvious trade partner is Edmonton. The third pick and Ganger for 1 and a roster player. Florida gets a veteran and one of Bennett or Reinhart and Edmonton get their defenseman in Ekblad.

      • 19inarow - May 2, 2014 at 3:46 PM

        Ekblad will go 3rd or 4th, just like last year and before that. Jones, Larsson…

      • lordfletcher - May 2, 2014 at 4:12 PM

        Ekblad is miles (well not miles but you know) above where Jones was this time last year, IMO. I don’t think there is a GM that would take Jones over Ekblad if they were the same age.

        Shopping the #1 will be tough … its hard to match a trade when your basing it all off elite potential

      • lordfletcher - May 2, 2014 at 4:15 PM

        to me the perfect guy for Florida is Weber but that deal won’t happen.

        Preds then get a forward in return in the trade and could also draft top forward of their choice and maybe start scoring a goal or two. Preds are needing to re-build. New coach coming and a roster that can’t compete in the central with Avs, Blues, Hawks, Wild and Stars

      • lordfletcher - May 2, 2014 at 5:03 PM

        @mikebel11

        I don’t think Florida will want to draft Reinhart as they are loaded up the middle currently and I forget if Bennett is a LW or C. Ekblad is the obvious choice for Florida, the only thing stopping them from picking him is if another team is willing to mortgage their assets.

        Florida is either in win now, or win after next year mode after the two generational talents get drafted in 2015 and any team will make roster moves for a chance at that! … well except NYI as they booted that opportunity… If Florida is in win now mode, the will still likely draft Ekblad and then trade roster players for someone like E. Kane and attempt to bring in as many free agents as possible. If for some unlikely reason Toews doesn’t re-sign with the Hawks, I see Tallon offering Toews a blank check and almost $9 million per year deal.

        Florida is going to have an incredibly exciting year or two with how their roster is going to be managed. Bright or shall I say sunny, future ahead

  2. billsin20xx - May 2, 2014 at 3:01 PM

    Maybe he won’t be. Perhaps Snow will trade him for it, but then he would probably give it up to the Sabre’s, what the heck he has given up everything else!

    • 19inarow - May 2, 2014 at 3:51 PM

      zzzzzzz

  3. elvispocomo - May 2, 2014 at 3:19 PM

    Yeah, I don’t see him dropping back that far from 1st if he does trade it, so he’d be looking at a top 1 pick coming back at least. Tallon’s mentioned he’s high on Ehlers, so maybe he thinks he can get him around 5-8 and will look to deal with those teams.

  4. hockey412 - May 2, 2014 at 3:35 PM

    Someone says this every year, though.

  5. btlpper68 - May 2, 2014 at 3:59 PM

    I think Ekblad is going #1

  6. dadawg77 - May 2, 2014 at 5:20 PM

    Watch a deal with the Hawks. Panthers can acquire young talent which has been thru a cup run(s?). Hawks can acquire cheaper younger talent saving cap room for Kane and Toews.

    • greatmiamisportsmind - May 2, 2014 at 10:34 PM

      Your comment kind of makes no sense. Why would the Panthers acquire young talent (which would presumably be cheap) and trade cheaper younger talent when that is what they would be getting in return?

  7. bobc74 - May 2, 2014 at 6:28 PM

    If you didn’t want to pick first in the draft, you should have been able to decline participation in the lottery. Who the heck wins a lottery and says “No thanks” to the prize? Idiots, that’s who!

    • greatmiamisportsmind - May 2, 2014 at 10:37 PM

      I don’t think they are idiots. If there isn’t a player that they want and they could move the #1 pick, for something they could use now, why not? You can get more for the #1 overall pick as opposed the #2 overall pick.

  8. alicesrightfootesq - May 2, 2014 at 8:09 PM

    Thank god none of you are GM.

  9. desertfan - May 2, 2014 at 8:14 PM

    Smart move would be a 3 way- get Cal, Buff and/or NYI #1 next year- so 2 #1s who could be McDavid.

    • greatmiamisportsmind - May 2, 2014 at 10:39 PM

      The Panthers have no room for a player who shoots 3 feet over the net and would rather check a player into the boards that is 24 feet away from the puck that is sitting 2 inches from his stick. Besides, Garth Snow gave up Nino Niederreiter for him. That’s just hilarious.

  10. sharksfan97 - May 2, 2014 at 9:12 PM

    Thornton and Marleau for #1 overall and Pirri. SJ gets a franchise D to replace Boyle. FL gets win now players who may find playoff success with a new mix of guys. Remember Marleau is still a consistent 30 goal scorer so his value is still quite high, and both of their contracts are cap friendly.

    • greatmiamisportsmind - May 2, 2014 at 10:41 PM

      Typical Shark fan. Why would the Panthers want 2 aged bums?

      • desertfan - May 3, 2014 at 11:01 AM

        Aged Bums who are top ten scorers???

      • greatmiamisportsmind - May 6, 2014 at 10:14 AM

        top ten scorers, but for how long?? see your guy dany heatley….

  11. phillyphanatic77 - May 2, 2014 at 10:05 PM

    Hey if Tallon wants a veteran leader, “someone who’s been through the wars”, you can have Scott Hartnell for cheap. It’s obviously not gonna involve the 1st overall pick (unless the Flyers add a ton) but Hartnell would fit that criteria. He’d bring scoring, grit, and leadership to a young room. Plus Florida has plenty of cap space so his contract would help with the cap floor.

    • greatmiamisportsmind - May 2, 2014 at 10:42 PM

      The Panthers won’t have a problem reaching the cap floor anymore, new ownership has given Tallon the green light to spend to the ceiling.

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