Panthers GM Tallon actively shopping 1st overall pick

May 2, 9:12 AM

It looks as though the Florida Panthers are open to trading the first overall pick in the upcoming NHL draft.

Panthers general manager Dale Tallon was a guest on Prime Time Sports on Sportsnet 590 The FAN on Thursday, and talked about his willingness to deal the coveted asset:

"Well why not?" he said in the interview. "I'm looking at everything. I'm open for business. 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."

Of course, if he can leverage the first pick into a dynamite package of players he'll do so, but he isn't sitting back and waiting for offers. When asked if he was planning on actively shopping the pick, Tallon answered in the affirmative.

"Yes, I definitely will," Tallon said. "Especially this year."

The Panthers used the second pick in 2013 to take talented Finnish centerman Aleksander Barkov. In 54 games during his rookie campaign, Barkov notched eight goals and 24 points.

Jun 27, 7:54 PM

Panthers keep 1st overall pick despite reported offers from other clubs

Jun 27, 7:54 PM

The Florida Panthers, who held the No. 1 pick, kept the hockey world in suspense leading up to the NHL entry draft Friday night, but in the end, general manager Dale Tallon kept the selection, and picked Barrie Colts defenseman Aaron Ekblad.

In 116 career games with the OHL's Barrie Colts, Ekblad averaged a point per game from the blue line, recording 40 goals and 76 assists.

The Philadelphia Flyers, Vancouver Canucks and Toronto Maple Leafs were all rumored to have made offers for the pick. (as seen below)

Feature photo courtesy of REUTERS/Steve Marcus

Jun 27, 6:39 PM

Report: Canucks still pushing for No. 1 overall pick

Jun 27, 6:39 PM

The Florida Panthers are reportedly set to retain the first overall pick at the 2014 NHL Entry draft, but it appears that the Vancouver Canucks are still offering a Mike Ditka package in pursuit of forward Sam Reinhart:

For the moment and despite the reports that the Panthers will keep the first overall pick, the Panthers are still taking calls.

"(Tallon) said there is no deal in place but he's continuing to listen." Dreger said on TSN's draft broadcast. "The speculation is that the Vancouver Canucks might be the front-runner for the 1st overall pick."

"Tallon has been consistently working the phone," Dreger added. "It's believed the Canucks are pushing hard for 1st overall... Will that be enough? It doesn't appear so."

If the Canucks do manage to move up to the top of the draft, it could have a butterfly effect on the rest of the top-five. "(If Vancouver acquires the No. 1 overall pick) that might impact what Tim Murray and the Buffalo Sabres do as well," said Dreger. "If Vancouver takes Sam Reinhart, there's some speculation that Murray could dangle Aaron Ekblad (and move down in the draft)."

Is it just a coincidence that the Edmonton Oilers' in-house radio host Bob Stauffer tweeted out, shortly thereafter, that the Oilers weren't necessarily set on selecting Aaron Ekblad with the third overall pick (were he still available)?

Jun 27, 6:21 PM

Report: Panthers will keep No. 1 overall pick

Jun 27, 6:21 PM

According to multiple sources, the Florida Panthers will keep the first overall draft selection after listening to many offers on the draft floor.

The Philadelphia Flyers had reportedly offered a deal including Vincent Lecavalier but there was nothing the Panthers felt was valuable enough to move the pick.

The Panthers are expected to draft either Aaron Ekblad or Sam Reinhart.

Feature photo courtesy of REUTERS/Steve Marcus

Jun 27, 4:35 PM

Report: Canucks, Flyers, Leafs among teams chasing No. 1 overall pick

Jun 27, 4:35 PM

In life and in hockey there are lies, damned lies, and reports that emerge in the hours leading up to the NHL draft. At this hectic time of year, hockey fans would be well advised to take everything with more salt than an Angelina Jolie summer blockbuster.

As the beginning of the 2014 NHL Entry Draft approaches, all eyes are on the Florida Panthers and general manager Dale Tallon. Will Tallon use the first overall pick at the draft to select man-child defenseman Aaron Ekblad? Or will the Panthers decide to move the pick, as they've been threatening to do for six weeks?

The speculation is at a fever pitch, with TSN's Darren Dreger suggesting that the Vancouver Canucks have "shifted focus" and are hot in pursuit of the first overall pick on the heels of a flurry of afternoon trades.

The NHL Network's Mike Kelly, meanwhile, passes along some scuttlebutt suggesting that the Toronto Maple Leafs have offered the Florida Panthers a hefty package that includes James van Riemsdyk, in an effort to land the first overall pick. 

Of course, because no zany hockey rumor is ever complete without the involvement the Philadelphia Flyers, the Flyers are also in on the bidding for the first overall pick according to CSNPhilly.com's Tim Panaccio. Apparently Vincent Lecavalier could be involved in the package on offer from Ron Hextall and the hosts of this years draft. 

Feature photo courtesy of REUTERS/Steve Marcus

Jun 27, 10:08 AM

Dale Tallon: '70 percent' chance Panthers use the pick

Jun 27, 10:08 AM

The Florida Panthers dangled the top pick in Friday's NHL Entry Draft, but the chances of them using the selection are becoming greater as the clock winds down. 

General manager Dale Tallon said Thursday that "we're about 70 percent [that] we're going to take the pick," per Harvey Fialkov of the South Florida Sun-Sentinel. 

Tallon did admit that the team received multiple offers, including a "really intriguing one," despite their stance heading into Friday.

It's possible that the "intriguing" offer Tallon received came from Winnipeg, as TSN's Gary Lawless suggested the Jets offered Dustin Byfuglien and the ninth-overall pick for the top selection. While that's merely speculative, Tallon was a part of the Chicago Blackhawks team that put a ball cap on the 265-pound rover in 2003. 

Should the Panthers keep the selection, they are expected to draft Aaron Ekblad of the Barrie Colts

Jun 26, 6:14 PM

Dale Tallon leaning towards using the No. 1 overall pick despite quality trade offers

Jun 26, 6:14 PM

Florida Panthers general manager Dale Tallon has been openly shopping the first overall pick at the 2014 NHL Entry Draft from almost the moment that the Panthers won the draft lottery in mid-April.

The veteran Panthers executive is reportedly telling rival general managers that he already has one "really good offer" for the first overall pick in addition to some other "so-so" offers, according to TSN's Darren Dreger.

Speaking with reporters in Philadelphia, Pa. on Thursday, Tallon reiterated that he's received one very intriguing offer for the first overall selection. Tallon also suggested that, more than likely, the Panthers will simply keep that pick and select a player (probably Barrie Colts defender Aaron Ekblad).

Tallon also added that the offers the first overall selection is generating on the market have surpassed his wildest expectations:

Considering the pricey ransom that rival general managers are willing to pay for the opportunity to select first at Friday's draft, if the Panthers keep the pick, they better be certain that Ekblad is really worth it.

Jun 25, 9:14 PM

Report: Panthers' Dale Tallon has 'three legitimate offers' for No. 1 pick

Jun 25, 9:14 PM

The Florida Panthers' farm system is pretty well stocked, so much so that the team has an opportunity to parlay the top overall pick in Friday's draft into some assets that can help the club right now.

At the moment, Panthers general manager Dale Tallon has some choices to make, according to TSN's Bob McKenzie.

Right now Panthers GM Dale Tallon has three legitimate offers, which is up from one. But don't confuse legitimate offers with a deal that he would absolutely make right now. Right now it's more likely he'll be using the first overall pick to make a selection than trading it.

The Panthers drafted Ed Jovanovski with the first overall selection in the draft in 1994. Holding the top pick in 2002 and 2003, the team traded the selection each time.

If the team were to hold onto the pick, Barrie Colts defenseman Aaron Ekblad seems to be the likely selection.

Jun 25, 2:16 PM

Panthers GM Tallon on trading 1st pick: 'Not much new' to report

Jun 25, 2:16 PM

The Florida Panthers have a plethora of young talent in their system and are looking to improve sooner rather than later.

The first overall selection has been on the market for a while and although there have been some offers, Dale Tallon isn't comfortable moving the pick for what he has been offered.

He told Pierre LeBrun: "Not much new. There’s some offers from teams in the middle of the pack. But I want to stay top 10 if I can."

"We're in a good spot. We’ll take the pick if nobody steps up."

LeBrun reports that Tallon wants an established player and to retain a high pick, having said previously he did not want to slip below No. 8.

Jun 9, 6:46 PM

Report: Panthers likely to select Aaron Ekblad if unable to trade No. 1 pick

Jun 9, 6:46 PM

While the Florida Panthers entertain offers for the first overall pick at the NHL Draft, it appears as though general manager Dale Tallon and his army of scouts have zeroed in on their likely selection should they fail to find a suitable trade partner.

Whether or not this information is being used as a ruse in order to throw teams off or to up the ante in regards to a trade is yet to be determined; however, if the Panthers do decide to draft Ekblad, they will add a potential franchise defenseman to a group of talented young forwards.

Either way, the Panthers are in a good spot in advance of the festivities on June 27.

Jun 9, 12:30 PM

Panthers GM Tallon says he's had one 'fair offer' for No. 1 overall pick

Jun 9, 12:30 PM

The Florida Panthers have been publicly shopping the No. 1 overall pick at the 2014 NHL Entry Draft for weeks, and apparently their pitch has resulted in at least one "fair offer" according to Tallon

Tallon has previously said that he'd be willing to move back in the draft, so long as the return is right. He's also suggested that the Panthers would prefer a top-of-the-lineup defenseman in any deal that includes the first overall pick.

The Calgary Flames pitched the Panthers about the possibility of acquiring the No. 1 overall pick, according to Flames general manager Brad Treliving. Meanwhile Vancouver Province beat writer Jason Botchford suggests that the Canucks have some interest in moving up to the first overall selection, although their general manager Jim Benning all but guaranteed that the club will use the No. 6 pick on Monday.

Kingston Frontenacs forward Sam Bennett tops NHL Central Scouting's list of North American draft eligible skaters, though industry opinion on him may be impacted by a weak showing at the NHL Scouting Combine. Barrie Colts defender Aaron Ekblad and Kootenay Ice center Sam Reinhart are considered other potential No. 1 overall picks.

Feature photo courtesy of REUTERS/Dan Riedlhuber

Jun 8, 4:00 PM

Flames talking to Panthers about acquiring 1st overall pick

Jun 8, 4:00 PM

Calgary Flames general manager Brad Treliving says he reached out to Florida Panthers general manager Dale Tallon about landing the first overall pick in the upcoming NHL Entry Draft.

"Now is the time that all of those conversations are happening," Treliving told NHL.com

"We're going to keep pounding away and try to get a sense of what other teams are thinking. For the most part, teams have gotten through their meetings," he said. "They've done their preparation for the draft. The talk between managers is increasing. We'll see where it goes."

The Flames hold the fourth overall pick. They have never selected first overall, and fourth would be the highest they have drafted since 1973 when the team played in Atlanta.

Treliving may not be willing to pay the price to move up.

"We'll see. You're managing it all the time. Is it realistic? I don't know," he said. "We're going to explore everything and if there is something that we feel makes sense, we'll do it. If not, we won't."

[H/T Pro Hockey Talk]

Feature photo courtesy of Getty/NHL Images

May 30, 3:54 PM

Report: Dale Tallon says he's received a half dozen legitimate inquiries for No. 1 overall pick

May 30, 3:54 PM

Florida Panthers general manager Dale Tallon has been openly shopping the number one overall pick at the 2014 NHL Entry draft from almost the moment the Panthers first won the draft lottery.

According to the Tallon, who caught up with ESPN's Craig Custance at the NHL Scouting Combine in Toronto this week, there is no shortage of interested would-be buyers:

Though Kingston Frontenacs forward Sam Bennett tops NHL Central Scouting's list of North American draft eligible skaters, Barrie Colts defender Aaron Ekblad and Kootenay Ice center Sam Reinhart are more likely to be selected with the first overall pick at the 2014 NHL Entry draft.

May 21, 3:28 PM

Panthers GM Tallon on shopping No. 1 overall pick: 'I've already had a few guys kicking tires'

May 21, 3:28 PM

The first overall pick at the 2014 NHL Entry Draft belongs to the Florida Panthers for the moment, but the opportunity to select between man-child defender Aaron Ekblad, and smart two-way centerman Sam Reinhart at the top of the draft is for sale. 

"I've already had a few guys kicking tires (on the first overall pick)," Panthers general manager Dale Tallon told USA Today's Kevin Allen this week. "We are going to get more calls."

Tallon suggested to Allen that while the Panthers aren't ruling anything out, and may still use the first overall selection, they'd be open to moving the pick to a team offering a top-of-the-lineup defenseman in return. 

"When I look at my team, I would like to add a couple of top-notch veteran (defenders)," Tallon said.