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Flyers made ‘legitimate attempt’ to land No. 1 overall pick

Jun 28, 2014, 2:00 AM EDT

2014 NHL Draft - Round 1 Getty Images

There was plenty of speculation that a team could land the No. 1 overall pick from the Florida Panthers just prior to the start of the NHL Draft on Friday. Apparently, the Philadelphia Flyers made quite the move for it.

In the end, Panthers general manager Dale Tallon held onto the pick, selecting defenseman Aaron Ekblad with that first overall selection. But it was certainly something worth dangling in front of the other GMs in the league in the waning moments.

“We were close,” said Tallon, as per CSN Philadelphia. “They made a legitimate attempt. We had a number of conversations with Ron. They teased me. It was not an easy decision. They were willing. … It was enticing.

“High noon today … We made our decision. We laid out all our cards on the table, laid out all the pros and cons on possible deals and what was eventually best for the franchise in the long term. … We felt that Ekblad fit into the [Aleksander] Barkov, [Nick] Bjugstad advance in what we’re trying to build.”

With rookie GM Jim Benning, the Vancouver Canucks had a busy day by making three trades earlier on, including a blockbuster that sent Ryan Kesler to the Anaheim Ducks, were also making a bid for the first overall pick, according to Darren Dreger of TSN.

  1. chanceoffleury - Jun 28, 2014 at 2:22 AM

    Wasn’t a bad idea for the Flyers. Ekblad would have been a solid pick for them. Their d core needs to get younger and cheaper and he surely would have helped with that situation. Florida was probably smart to keep him though. He looks pretty good (as most number 1 overalls do) and like Tallon said, he can grow with the young core there. Yeah, you suck for a few years now but if you make the right picks and play your cards right the tables start to turn in your favor after a few years. Plus, at a time like this who wants to get better now? Wait one more year to try and land McDavid and then add the veteran pieces after that. He could end up being Florida’s Stamkos if they get the pick.

  2. bubblehead22 - Jun 28, 2014 at 3:06 AM

    Why? To ruin more talent with “Flyer Hockey”

  3. Hard to BeLeaf - Jun 28, 2014 at 3:10 AM

    Can someone just ban Darren Dregger from Twitter. 99% of the rumors that come out are from him and 99% of those never end up coming true. I’m not sure he has any clue what’s really going on.

    • kane987245 - Jun 28, 2014 at 12:56 PM

      So, let me get this right. You want him banned form twitter for doing his job of addressing rumors and when, like most rumors do, don’t come true, it is his fault for telling us that the possibility of it happening is out there. I don’t like how your brain does logic.

      • Hard to BeLeaf - Jun 28, 2014 at 2:54 PM

        There’s a difference between legit rumors and total BS. If Dreger was right once in a while, maybe I’d cut him some slack, but most rumors you hear are just him trying to get attention for himself and his soon to be hockey-less sports channel, TSN.

        And I’d love it if Dreger actually did his job. His job is reporting on hockey btw… not making up controversial fiction to try to get more internet clicks… but the Toronto media has cornered the market of twisting reality to get a news story.

  4. willycliffton - Jun 28, 2014 at 3:53 AM

    Reports say it was Schenn, Lecavlier, another player (possibly Coburn), and Simmonds (who was enough to make the Flyers balk at the deal). I would’ve done it.

    • phillyphanatic77 - Jun 28, 2014 at 4:30 AM

      I would’ve loved to have added Ekblad but that trade would’ve taken a huge chunk out of our forward corps. Too much for an unproven commodity (eventhough Ekblad looks like a top pair guy). Without Simmonds, Schenn, and Lecavalier (who I do want to deal) the Flyers would essentially lose their entire 2nd line, even if Vinny doesn’t fit that role here. That’s a lot to replace. I know they would’ve freed themselves of a ton of cap space but still that means Hextall would need to put together a patchwork forward group. And both Simmonds and Schenn have favorable contracts. It was just too too much.

      • willycliffton - Jun 28, 2014 at 5:33 PM

        Yes but it clears so much cap room to add anyone. I’m not sold on B Schenn and while I love Simmonds, Ekblad looks like a star.

    • mcphillthy - Jun 28, 2014 at 10:58 AM

      No way I would have let Simmonds go. The other three I would happily part ways with

  5. greatmiamisportsmind - Jun 28, 2014 at 7:37 AM

    The problem is no team wants to take on Vinny’s full contract and Philly doesn’t want to retain any of it.

  6. flylikearaven88 - Jun 28, 2014 at 7:56 AM

    Flyers should have offered their first, schenn and Lecavlier. Then if Florida didn’t bite then throw in Coburn. No way would I throw Simmonds into it. Way too many players to replace. Plus Simmonds plays flyers hockey, he’s a Philly guy. On top of that, if eklbad ends up being a bust then this would go down as one of the worst trades all time.

    • willycliffton - Jun 28, 2014 at 5:35 PM

      So I guess you wouldn’t have done the Lindros trade?

  7. flyboystransport - Jun 28, 2014 at 8:45 AM

    There aren’t any franchise players in this draft so why would you deplete your depth for less than that?

    • lordfletcher - Jun 28, 2014 at 10:16 AM

      I see you just got back from the future

  8. chrisk61 - Jun 28, 2014 at 9:19 AM

    simmonds would have made it a non-starter. he and couturier have very important roles on the flyers — simmonds the physical presence in the other team’s crease and couturier the shut-down center — that are difficult to get and even tougher to replace.

  9. sheckyrimshot - Jun 28, 2014 at 11:35 AM

    hahaah “they teased me.” good old hexy.

  10. flyerspsu - Jun 28, 2014 at 12:16 PM

    Simmonds was the deal breaker, Florida wanted him but the Flyers wouldnt give him up

  11. luvusa1 - Jun 28, 2014 at 1:42 PM

    Glad Hextall didn’t do this. Need to keep the core in place and build…finally getting away from the Clarke and Holmgren all in mentality.

  12. 19to77 - Jun 28, 2014 at 2:12 PM

    “They teased me. They were willing. … It was enticing.”

    My, the Draft got steamy this year.

  13. shamu1the1whale - Jun 28, 2014 at 4:06 PM

    Hey y’all, check this out, it gave me a chuckle and all in good fun: Sam Bennett proves he can do a pull up (several in fact)!

    here’s the video:

  14. broadstreetbeatdown - Jun 29, 2014 at 12:37 AM

    Sounds like an early 80’s porno. I Like Ekblad, he’s gonna be a star but not for what FL was asking for.

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