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Horton, Soup Say Thanks and Good Day to the Panthers

Hortonsoup LAS VEGAS – When Nathan Horton told general manager Dale Tallon he wasn't sure he wanted to play for the Florida Panthers anymore, Tallon didn't hesitate on making sure Horton didn't have to.

Horton, the third overall pick in 2003, was traded to Boston on Tuesday along with grinder Gregory Campbell.

The Panthers got back defenseman Dennis Wideman as well as the 15th overall pick in Friday's draft.

Florida also received Boston's third round pick next year.

“You have to move what you can move, have to move the assets that are valuable commodities,'' said Tallon, who was named Florida's ninth general manager in May.

“Sometimes have to make these moves looking Horton forward to the future. [Horton] was obviously frustrated in what had happened in the past. He wanted me to see what was out there for him. He felt it might be better if he could go somewhere else. Nothing surprises me in this business. We have to do what's best for the Florida Panthers period.''

Said Horton: “I think it's time. It's been a great time in Florida, but it hasn't worked out well for anyone who has been there the past couple of years. It might be good for change.''

Horton did say that he enjoyed playing in South Florida, noting that it has become his home. He and wife Tammy were married there and their son Dylan was born there. But playing for the Panthers had become frustrating as the team hasn't made the playoffs in an NHL record-tying nine consecutive seasons.

Going to a tradition-rich franchise like Boston seems to have Horton, whose agent is Bruins legend Bobby Orr, excited.

Since Horton joined the Panthers, the franchise has had five different coaches (Mike Keenan, Rick Dudley, John Torchetti, Jacques Martin and Pete DeBoer) as well as five different general managers (Dudley, Keenan, Martin, Randy Sexton and Tallon).

“I'm not saying anything bad about the organization, but there have been five coaches in the time I've been there,'' Horton said. “Now, I'm going to a stable, historic organization. I'm going to give it all I've got. I think it'll be good. .-.-. As a player, the best part of hockey is the playoffs. When you don't make them for seven years or whatever, that's too long. It can't happen. [In Boston], that doesn't happen. It's exciting for me to come and be a part of it.''

The Bruins are desperate for an offensive surge after scoring a league-low 196 goals last season. But the Panthers aren't exactly known for torching opposing goaltenders, either, scoring just six more goals than Boston did last season.

Horton has scored at least 20 goals in each of his past five seasons and is widely regarded as the team's most talented offensive player. His absence is going to make Florida's offense even less potent.

Wideman has scored 46 goals with 119 assists in 378 NHL games over the course of five seasons with Boston and St. Louis and is a good puck mover with a decent right-handed shot. But he's not going to replace Horton's numbers – nor is he expected to.

“You just have to just move on and get excited about the new guy,'' DeBoer said. “Dale has a blueprint on how to build this team. He's going piece by piece. We all see the weaknesses from goal scoring. The reality is, the group we had was not getting job done. Changes are expected.''

Soup3 Campbell thanked the Panthers for giving him a shot to become a regular NHL player. Campbell had a career year in 2008-09 when he scored 13 goals with 19 assists, but he struggled last season, managing just 17 points off two goals. Campbell is a restricted free agent.

“There's always mixed feelings in a trade and I had a great time in Florida, made some great friends,'' Campbell said. “But I'm excited to be part of the Boston organization. I haven't played in the NHL playoffs yet, so I'm excited to get that chance in Boston. I watched the playoffs pretty closely. It's not fun ending your season in April.''

Horton's desire for the game has come into question before, although DeBoer praised him for his attitude last season. “He had turned a corner,'' DeBoer said. With Horton unwilling to commit to the organization fully, Tallon decided to part ways. And adding another draft pick is just another chip for Tallon as he tries to rebuild a broken franchise.

“You have to start with goaltending and defense and work our way out,'' Tallon said. “We wanted to make a good deal, a fair deal. We wanted a first round pick, a right handed shot to help our power play. In the long run, want to build through the draft. There were a lot of [potential trade] partners, a lot of scenarios. This one made the most sense.''


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Good deal, just wish we didnt have to give up Campbell.

Not a good deal - we need a center or a good young scorer. Why we didn't get Colborne or Wheeler along with the #15 is beyond me. Our defense was bad, yes, but Wideman is not a defensive defenseman. Sigh. I just hope this isn't the last move Tallon is planning because (LISTEN UP PANTHERS) our forwards corps is not good enough to win in the NHL.

GR, it's Wideman - not WISEman!!! ;-P

The Panthers will miss Campbell on the PK and Hort's goals. That said, a point scoring defenseman and the 15th overall pick is not a bad return on a dinged winger and a PK/checking specialist. Shame it couldn't have been the third.

I have to admit being a little optimistic. The new GM is a draft specialist and I think he has four of the first 40 picks.


These draftees aren't going to play for several years down the road, hence my displeasure with trading our top chip for another defenseman & more picks.

BTW, Nabokov is going to be a free agent it seems so that dims the market on goalies even more. Looks like Vokoun will play out his contract this year.

I think some more Panthers will be out of dodge on Friday. I'm sure Horton was not the only one tired of the changing coaches every year.

The defensive core is now very crowded. Mcabe or Ballard next?

Letting Horton go was bittersweet. On one hand, we drafted him, and he was big part of our anemic offense. On the other hand, he seemed lazy, discontent, and moody.

I'm not sure how this trade helps us now, but maybe by the end of the week (and after July 1) Tallon will acquire (or draft) decent players who can score goals. It seems odd, however, that the projected #3 guy in the draft is a defenseman.

Next year, we may be eligible for the #1 pick.

People who are mad must realize he wanted out and we needed to get the best deal out their that they were giving out. If that is the best, then be it... Don't go crying about how we need this and that... We need many things for this team to succeed. Plus, Horton wanted out!

Nathan Horton - underachiever with the Panthers. He could not step up and fill Jokinen's skates. Maybe with better players around him, he will do better.

This team cant score and they trade away probably the best pure goal scorer in this organization. Just another guy thrown and given up on.

So glad to see Horton out of here... Not impressed with the return, but just glad to get this guy away from this organization.. I was so sick and tired of his wasted talent.. I just wish we would've sent him to Edmonton, Columbus, or even Rochester if that was possible to teach him a lesson...

It's hard for even me to believe that we couldn't have gotten Blake Wheeler or some some FWD from a different team in a different package... Admittedly I don't know enough about Wideman, but we'll have to pay him $3.9 mill, so it looks like we did Boston a favor there... I'm guessing there must be another deal in place to move Ballard, or else we'll be paying way too much....

I'm not overly impressed with draft picks, especially with the same scouting dept and their track record.... To try to find the positive side here, I'm glad Tallon had the balls to get rid of Horton... Someone should've traded him 2 or 3 years ago... Let's just hope Tallon gets the rust off with this trade, and keeps cleaning out the roster..

this is the first of many moves to change the country club culture we have.

With our new slogan "we came to play" being the next thing that has to go. What does "we came to play" really mean?

Most teams "come to win", but not a Yormark run organization (nets, panthers), they come to play and take your money.

Tallon wants people that want to be here and want to win. We are loaded on the back and finally have a right handed defensemen for the power play and to help with the puck control game that reduces shots against and keeps the puck in your own end.

Tallon has to clean up the mess left behind by the group with no plan (JM the GM, Sexton, Keenan etc). This shows that the Tallon does have more power so far.

He can still wheel and deal as we need a core with heart and desire to work hard every day and want to win and not just to play.

I would keep Weiss unless our socks are blown off as he is a player that works hard.

If Horton had Weiss, Booth or Ciccarelli's heart we would of made the playoffs. In fairness to Horton, he has never had a number 1 center to play with.

Now, I hope Tallon starts working on getting us some big centers that can pass and shoot the puck. The 3rd pick I would still go for a d-man unless the Bruins shock the hockey world and pick a d-man as that is a big weakiness for Boston right now.


Did Tallon make any offers to RFA's Mcardle, Garrison, etc.?

Also, what happened to Sexton? Is he now Assistant GM or is he officially out?

This trade was about getting another first round pick in a very deep draft. They needed a righthand shot and Wideman fills a need. Whether Tallon keeps both picks or trades one for a top center we will know by Friday. This team doesn't need Blake Wheeler he has less heart than Horton. Horton wanted out and Panthers get a very good first round pick and a good defenseman. Good trade.

As Goldie would say (twice each period at least): "HERE WE GO! PASS FROM WEISS TO HORTON! HORTON'S ON HIS HORSE!! HORTON HOLDING!! Horton!..Holding..holding........."

To that person who said Weiss has heart,

ummm he doesn't

weiss does have heart you know it if you watch the panthers play

GR, What about Campbell? Did he not want to be here, or was this just (I assume) collateral damage? I always felt Soupy was a grinder and was extremely loyal to DeBoer and the organization.

Weiss works extremely hard and really cares, he stood up to Yormark with the confetti on the ice after finishing last and he is a true leader, his problem is that the panthers drafted him too high.

Looks like Chicago is now under the cap with their trade with Atlanta

The Chicago Blackhawks made a blockbuster trade with the Thrashers on Wednesday, the Stanley Cup champions moving Dustin Byfuglien, Ben Eager, Brent Sopel and a prospect to Atlanta for a first-round pick, a second-round pick, prospect Jeremy Morin and veteran forward Marty Reasoner

Dudley beat Tallon to the punch


Whether people think Weiss has heart or not isn't the question. He's being paraded around as a number one center. He's not. He's small, fragile and couldn't hit water if he fell out of a boat.
He avoids contact like it's a disease.

He works hard? Watch him next season. If he's still here.
Then remember how Jonathan Toews played. That's working hard, and Toews is only 22. Weiss is what 27? Been here eight years?
Remember him going 17 games in a row down the stretch with one goal?

I have seen enough.

Move him!

Bad trade. Horton needed to go, but bad return in Wideman. His defensive zone play sucks. If Tallon is wise, he'll try to flip Wideman to the Pens, who are lookin unable to resign Gonchar.

Honestly can't blame the attitude issues on Horton. He plays hockey to win a Stanley Cup. No matter what you think of him, the organization failed him and the others. Frustration sucks, but 10 years of losing is unbelievable. I respect the fact he had the courage to say it was time to leave town.

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