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The Dust Settles, Tallon Not Ready to Rest ... Panthers Have Nine Lives/Picks

Tallon3 LOS ANGELES -- Don't look now, but Dale Tallon looks refreshed and ready to take on the second day of the NHL Draft.

The Panthers new general manager has much to play with as he goes into Saturday's second round.

And he says he's ready to do something with those assets.

“We're open to any suggestions,'' Tallon said. “We're not going to sit still. We're going to have some fun, experiment and take some risks. We're going to see what happens.''

Tallon traded Nathan Horton to Boston on Tuesday, getting back defenseman Dennis Wideman and the 15th overall pick in return.

On Friday, he traded defenseman Keith Ballard and winger Vic Oreskovich to Vancouver for Steve  Bernier and Michael Grabner as well as the 25th overall pick.

Tallon also traded that 15th pick to the Kings for the 19th pick and the 59th.

“We have to look at the future and what we're going to do down the road,'' Tallon said. “That's more important than standing still today.''

Going into Saturday, Tallon has four second round picks (Nos. 33, 36, 50 and 59), two fourths (92, 93), a fifth (123), sixth (153) and seventh (183).

“We're taking one step at a time. We have a ton of picks, we're going to address some needs and see where we go from there,'' he said.

As far as the Ballard trade goes, Tallon said that deal got rolling throughout the day. As he said earlier, 10 teams had interest.

“We were going to put it on the backburner and see what happened,'' Tallon said. “But the pieces started falling together in a hurry. It peaked our interest and we were able to seal the deal as the day went on.''

On Bernier: “He's a low-down guy, has a good shot, can score some goals from the slot and the corner. He's good down low, a strong kid who was a former first round pick.''

On Grabner: “He has tremendous speed. He can really skate. That's something I love, a lot of speed. He's an upside guy. He's just starting to develop. That's good for us. He can grow with our other young players. Once that first round pick was in, it was an easy deal to do.''



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