Thrice Is Nice
By Glenn Odebralski for floridapanthers.com
Talk about a busy day. Two trades, three new draft picks and the addition of two new forwards. And that’s just day one.
Some teams were ecstatic getting one pick in the first round. But for the Florida Panthers, it was like Christmas three times over.
While the deal was technically agreed to earlier in the night, the Ballard to Vancouver deal wasn’t official until right before the 25th selection. Picking up Howden with the third first of the night, the Panthers finished out the day with yet another high character kid.
"It honestly didn’t matter to me where I went," said Howden. "I wanted to go to a team that wanted me. My whole goal was to get drafted and this is one of the best experiences of my life so I’m just trying to enjoy it right now.
I had some good interviews with them so obviously it was kind of a dice that was being roled for me. They made a few trades in moving up in the draft so I was excited and I’m really fortunate right now."
For the Panthers, the reason Ballard was the focal point of the trade with Vancouver was due to his value. And with 10 teams pitching trade ideas at the Panthers, it just so happened that the return for the defenseman was substantial.
"I talked about assets that were tradeable and you can’t trade guys that aren’t wanted," said Tallon. "They’re valuable assets and we were able to fill a lot of needs and sometimes you have to make those deicisions to fill up the depth chart and go in the right direction."
With day one in the books, there’s still a lot more that Tallon wants to accomplish before the Draft is done.
"I can’t be satisfied," said Tallon. "How can you be satisfied? We have to turn the corner and we have to get playoff ready and we have got to start challenging and make it difficult for teams to play against."
But for the new GM, the three kids drafted were a good start to rebuilding the franchise and getting them back on track.
"We want people that really care, are passionate and will compete hard every night and have our fans be happy with the effort every night," said Tallon. "I think we addressed that today and we’re going to continue to add the character, the size, the skill and the passion so that we can be successful in a hurry."