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Moving Horton Makes Draft that Much More Important

Posted By Jack Powell On Jun 24 2010 @ 9:11 am In Florida Panthers | No Comments

Ask and you shall receive. Florida Panther GM Dale Tallon promised players that if they wanted to be here and showed it, they would. If they didn’t, Tallon would send them packing. Its far too earlier to tell what the ramifications are of moving your most talented offensive player. Albeit one who was highly criticized for work ethic and taking games “off”, but truth be told the Panther organization needed to make a move like this. And more are on the way. Sending Nathan Horton and Gregory Campbell (who in my opinion is a great character guy that just got caught in the crossfire) to the Boston Bruins for Dennis Wideman, a third round pick in 2011 AND the number 15 overall this year proves that Tallon is a man of his word. And, yes, finally, thank GOD, Florida has a GM with a plan: Build through the draft.

Moving Horton before the draft, and more than likely a few more players before the weekend is over, is the purge this team spoke about prior to last years trade deadline. It makes what Tallon is trying to accomplish clear and now all we need worry about is execution.

The Florida Panthers currently hold 10% of all picks in the top 50. Think about that. The right players can turn this team into a cup contender in 2 maybe 3 years. The wrong players could have this team looking at 15 years of missing the playoffs. It’s no secret the Florida Panthers need a lot of help and Tallon needs to find talent in the later rounds. He has a track record of being a superb evaluator of players and their capabilities and will definitely bring in hard working guys that fit his mold for what this organization should be. I used to be of the mindset that talent trumps all, but you need a guy that is going to go the extra mile and is going to answer for his mistakes and work harder while at the same time show humility in his triumphs.

Picks 3, 15, 33, 36 and 50 (and who knows? maybe a few more sprinkled in before its all said and done) will have a lasting effect on this team for the next 5 to 8 years. I’m all for gutting the current roster and starting over the right way. But I sure hope the right players are selected and premium talent is brought to a franchise that hasn’t had top tier players (with few exceptions) in the last 10 years. This is decidedly the MOST important draft in Panther history. Moving Horton and gaining an extra first round pick confirms that. Should be an exciting weekend for Panther fans. Here’s to hoping Dale Tallon would rather be good AND lucky.

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