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Report: Lightning made best offer for Panthers’ top pick

Jun 29, 2014, 11:20 AM EDT

Steve Yzerman AP

We’d heard all about how Florida Panthers GM Dale Tallon was listening intently for offers on the first overall pick at the 2014 Draft. What we didn’t know was who was in talks with him to move up.

According to’s Pierre LeBrun, the team that made the most aggressive push to deal with the Panthers were their in-state rival the Tampa Bay Lightning.

LeBrun said both Philadelphia and Vancouver made strong pitches, but it was Steve Yzerman who made Tallon think the most about dealing. Tallon ultimately kept the pick and selected Aaron Ekblad. You have to think that’s who Yzerman was aiming to take as well.

While Lightning-Panthers doesn’t stand out as as big a rivalry as Rangers-Islanders or Bruins-Canadiens, they’re still rivals and are also divisional foes. You have to imagine Tallon wasn’t too keen on making a deal with a team he sees so often and competes in the same state.

Still, you have to wonder just what did Yzerman offer up for the selection.

  1. j22j - Jun 29, 2014 at 11:49 AM

    I am beginning to think that Mr. Yzerman is becoming one of the best GM’s in the business.

    • letsgocaps88 - Jun 29, 2014 at 8:51 PM

      He learned from one of the best in Detroit. Even look at the coaches… Under babs 3 former
      assistants are now NHL coaches…Says something about the culture and ownership.

  2. nyking1963 - Jun 29, 2014 at 12:17 PM

    Dean Lombardi IS the best GM in hockey!

    • 19to77 - Jun 29, 2014 at 3:10 PM

      Ken Holland’s been the Wings’ GM since 1998, won three Cups, four Presidents’ Trophies and the Central Division ten times without missing the playoffs once. The Wings won more games between ’98 and 2011 than any other team. Lombardi’s done a hell of a lot in the past several years and he’s certainly proved himself as a top-calibre manager, but he doesn’t have the tenure yet.

      • nyking1963 - Jun 30, 2014 at 9:12 AM

        Yeah..very hard to argue against Holland.
        I stand corrected.
        I would say that Lombardi is at the top of the list of GM’s below Holland.

  3. mattj2524 - Jun 29, 2014 at 12:22 PM

    Based on the fact that he made an offer to move up in the draft??? I think Stevie Y is a solid GM as well, but nothing in this article spoke to that.

    • j22j - Jun 29, 2014 at 10:14 PM

      No, based on the fact that even though TB was picking 19th he almost managed to move all the way up to #1. Also the rapid turnover of the TB roster and the subsequent rise up the standing is pretty impressive also.

  4. Geoff Nichols - Jun 29, 2014 at 12:49 PM

    As a Lightning fan, the “Florida Faceoff” isn’t a rivalry. There’s just not much bitterness there. Some people force it but it’s really just not a rivalry.

    • greatmiamisportsmind - Jun 29, 2014 at 2:23 PM


    • greatmiamisportsmind - Jun 29, 2014 at 2:24 PM

      But we do battle for the Governor’s Cup

    • nyking1963 - Jun 29, 2014 at 2:27 PM

      Until they meet in the playoffs, there isn’t a rivalry.

  5. lsxphotog - Jun 29, 2014 at 12:50 PM

    Tampa is looking to build on some defensive prospects. They have scoring potential for days, but their depth in-house for D is something Tampa and Yzerman catch some flak for. Not that there aren’t any capable defenders in the system, there could be more to fill in the AHL team moving forward. Taking four defenseman in the draft, including Deangelo are good indications they Tampa is looking to fill out the blueline. Solid draft from Tampa. Maybe the fact Ekblad is viewed as NHL-ready and that’s what they were looking for to have an impact next year. Deangelo is a work in progress, but should prove to be a good choice.

  6. letsgolightning - Jun 29, 2014 at 1:14 PM

    Getting some mixed messages, since our Scouting Director said…

    “Ekblad’s a special player, but he doesn’t have the offensive ability that Anthony has at this point,” he said. “Aaron Ekblad’s a tremendous player. He’s physically strong enough to be in the NHL next year, he’s a shutdown defenseman that plays with a mean streak.

    “But when it comes to his actual puck skills and offensive game, he makes a solid first pass and he’s got a bomb for a shot from the point — but we don’t see the same ability to move the puck around, have the same vision, make all the different passes in different zones that Anthony has.”

    So why push so hard for Ekbald, then? Or is this just a way of telling yourself you made a good choice?

  7. jb8588 - Jun 29, 2014 at 4:30 PM

    Would not be shocked in the least if Tyler Johnson or even Palat was included on that proposal to FLA. Bolts are set at center for a while and with the good young forwards in the system I could see Stevie Y realistically offering up one of them to go after Ekblad. We’ll see how DeAngelo pans out but getting Ekblad would of been an amazing pick up for the Bolts.

  8. 34defense2014 - Jun 29, 2014 at 8:04 PM

    Geoff Nichols: why do you think there isn’t a rivalry? I live in NY on Long Island. There’s not a team I hate more then the Rags!!! I’m to the point now! Because the Isles have been so bad!! I don’t know what I enjoy more? Watching the Isles win or the Rags loosing? During the Final here in NY the Rag fans actually thought they had a chance against the Kings lol it was great when they lost!! I enjoyed them loosing the Final as much as I think I would have enjoyed the Isles at least making the Playoffs?! lol so why no rivalry in the State of Florida? I would think the two Teams and fans would hate each other?? No??

    • letsgolightning - Jun 29, 2014 at 10:14 PM

      I can’t speak for the Florida fans, but there just doesn’t seem to be any bad blood between the teams. I’d say our biggest rivalries historically have been Washington, Philly, and maybe Boston more recently.

      Florida hasn’t been great lately, but even when the teams are on the same level, they’re more like sparring partners than arch-rivals. I feel Panthers fans would agree.

      • skoivu10 - Jun 30, 2014 at 3:10 AM

        Wait, so you’re insinuating that some people actually LIKE the Panthers?

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