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Looking Back: Florida Panthers Trades of 2010

Tallonring Dale Tallon was hired to be the general manager of the Panthers in May. It didn't take Tallon long to put his fingerprints all over the Panthers.

In the days leading up to the 2010 draft, Tallon dropped a blockbuster on the NHL landscape by trading Nathan Horton and Gregory Campbell to Boston in exchange for defenseman Dennis Wideman and the 15th overall pick.

At the draft, Keith Ballard was sent to Vancouver along with Victor Oreskovich for Steve Bernier, Michael Grabner and the 25th overall pick.

With Bernier being let go by the Panthers -- he is a restricted free agent who won't get an offer from the team -- what does Florida have left from these two big trades?

Some strong prospects and financial mobility.

Let us look at the trades one by one:

Horton1 HORTON TRADE: Tallon moved Horton because, as he said, Horton didn't want to be here anymore. Campbell was thrown into the deal for varying reasons. One, I think, was a warning shot to then-coach Pete DeBoer. Campbell was one of Pete's guys. And he was thrown into this deal. Just my opinion.

"Sometimes you have to make these moves looking forward to the future,'' Tallon said then.

"[Horton] was obviously frustrated in what had happened in the past. He wanted me Campbellbos 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.''

The trade definitely worked out for Boston. Until being blindsided in Game 3 on Monday, Horton was having a very strong postseason and became the first player to score three game-winning goals in one postseason. Campbell has also fit in very well in Boston and was a nice addition to the Bruins.

Florida got Wideman in the deal and dealt him to Washington at the deadline. It was always an adventure when Wideman had the puck, but he could score. He was one goal away from tying the Panthers record for power play goals by a defenseman in a season by the time he was dealt.

Wideman Florida got almost nothing in return for Wideman, but they did erase his money off the books. The Panthers took spare parts and some picks for Wideman but literally would have taken a bag of pucks to dump that contract.

Wideman will make $4 million next year -- a lot more than the Panthers wanted to pay for him.

So, Boston got two nice pieces to a team that is playing for the Cup. The Panthers dumped a ton of money and ended up trading the 15th overall pick for the 19th. Tallon & Co. took future center Nick Bjugstad with that selection.

Bruins WINNER: Boston, although the Panthers aren't crying about this one. Horton has obviously benefited from the change of scenery although Campbell should have stayed.

BALLARD TRADE: The Panthers liked Ballard when he was here, but Tallon rolled his eyes when he saw the contract Jacques Martin signed him to. After JM the GM traded Olli Jokinen for Ballard, the Panthers signed the high-energy defenseman to a six-year deal that didn't kick in until the 2009-10 s Ballard season. Ballard's cap hit over the six year deal was $4.2 million per.

So when the Panthers traded Ballard, it was more to get rid of the final five years of that contract than for anything else. Keep that in mind.

Oreskovich, another Pete guy, was thrown into this deal. Interesting.

Bernier was a money swap; the Panthers took his bad money to help make the deal. Bernier Florida hoped Bernier would bring more to the table than he did, although Bernier was never the same after getting butted in the eye by Minnesota's Brent Burns in November.

Grabner? The Panthers would love to take this one back. Even though DeBoer has taken some blame for this one, it was Tallon who put Grabner on waivers hoping he would slip through and make it to Rochester. That, obviously, didn't happen as Grabner -- a player The Hockey News predicted would have a breakout year for the Panthers -- was snared by the Islanders Grabs and was a ROY finalist.

Florida did end up with the 25th pick, taking Quinton Howden with it. Howden looks like he'll be with the Panthers in a few years.

WINNER: Panthers. Although it's still early, the Panthers did what they Sticks wanted to do in this trade by dumping a large contract and getting a good prospect. They made a mistake with Grabner and Bernier didn't do much in his one season in Sunrise, but Ballard has struggled in Vancouver thanks to injuries and such. If the Panthers don't make this deal, they would have started the season spending over $8 million on Wideman and Ballard. That's too much for a team like the Panthers.

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