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BLOCKBUSTER FROM SUNRISE: Dale Tallon Talks About Luongo Deal, Effect on Tim Thomas, Scott Clemmensen

TWITTER: @GeorgeRichards



As you well know, we had some talks last year. It just didn't come to fruition.

At 3:30 [Monday] afternoon, I had a brief conversation with Vancouver about it, you know, just making calls, kicking the tires asking if they had interest in Luongo. They said we could revisit it and we continued the conversation. We talked again at night, had good conversations [Tuesday] morning.

I talked to Vinnie Viola, Doug Cifu and Rory Babich this morning about the possibility and if I should continue to pursue this. I was given the green light to see what we could get done and we eventually got it done.

And here we are. I'm excited about. I think it's great for our franchise.


On Markstrom going back to Vancouver: We're getting a great goaltender, a proven commodity. Jacob has great upside but we needed to make a statement. Luongo's numbers are terrific. He's already been in this community and is very popular in South Florida. I just like what he brings to the table brining experience and a chance for us to win.

You have to pay the price to get guys like this. You don't get Roberto Luongo for nothing. You have to pay a price and we obviously paid a big price. Jacob is a great young goaltender with a lot of potential but that's what you have to pay sometimes to get value.


Have you talked to Roberto: He's excited, just over the moon about coming back to Florida. I spoke to him very briefly, had to get him on a flight. His family is here, his wife is from here. He's excited to be a Panther again and so are we. The past is the past and we have to worry about tomorrow.


Tim Thomas and can they coexist: This all came out so quickly, I'll sit down and talk to Tim and see what he would like us to do. Goaltending is pretty solid with those two guys. We have to talk to Tim and see what he would like to do and we'll do the best we can to make this work. You can't win without great goaltending and we'll see what direction it takes us. We'll have a conversation [Wednesday] with Tim and see where it leads. This is a business decision and we felt we had to do it. It came out of nowhere, [Monday] around 3, 3:30.


Shawn Matthias: It's time for a change, he's been here for a long time. He's had some great games and not so great games. Consistency has been the issue. I think he probably is welcoming a change, kind of intimated that this year -- his agent has. He has a lot of upside, a good guy who works hard, can skate and has a big shot. But he has to develop consistency. We're giving up two good young assets to get an outstanding goaltender.


The difference on dealing for Luongo this time around: We just couldn't get a deal done. We tried. Both teams didn't think it was a fair deal. Sometimes it happens and sometimes it doesn't. Sometimes you're the bug, sometimes the windshield. This time we got a deal done. Sometimes it takes years to get the right deal done. We've been going at it hard for a couple of years. We finally got it done.


Boyes: We agreed to terms on a two-year deal.


Canucks taking 15 percent of salary: Yes I can.


How big is that: It's part of doing business in a hard cap and it's going to happen numerous times moving forward. You do what you have to do. It's part of the deal process. It made sense.


Assessment of Luongo's game: He's still one of the elite goaltenders in the league, was on the Canadian Olympic team. Won a Gold Medal. His numbers are phenominal, took his team to the Stanley Cup Finals and got beat in Game 7. He's a solid goaltender and can play a lot of minutes. You can't win without great goaltending.


Talking to Tim on no trade: He has a big game in Boston; we'll talk after the game [Tuesday] or [Wednesday] morning.


The splash of Luongo: It's huge. He's a big name down here. It sets the tone for our franchise. Vinnie, Doug, Rory and I want to win the Stanley Cup but talk is cheap. We're acting and following up on what we said we would do. We traded for Luongo, picked up [Brandon] Pirri and resigned Boyes. We're looking to get better every day in achieving our goal of the Stanley Cup.


Scott Clemmensen?: Clemm will probably have to spend some time in San Antonio. We'll see what happens next day and a half. We won't have that answer until 3 [Wednesday].


Weaver: We're going to get a good look at Petrovic, Roback and Racine; We have good young defenseman in our organization, in junior and college. We're looking to the future. Montreal was looking for a solid defensive defenseman. We felt it was a good thing for Mike Weaver to get into the playoff picture and have a good opportunity to win in Montreal. He's a great warrior, played his butt off for us. I wish him well.