The day is finally upon us. The NHL Draft is set to kick off at 3 pm ET and we will finally get answers to the burning questions that have been hanging over our heads for the past weeks. Here are the relevant questions/stories/rumors regarding the Florida Panthers as we approach the 2013 NHL Draft:
Who goes number one?
Obviously this is the big question and as the Panthers have the second overall pick in the draft, it is super relevant. If the Avalanche hold on to the number one pick, it appears they will take center Nathan MacKinnon, leaving the Panthers to choose between Seth Jones and Jonathan Drouin. The Avalanche holding onto their top pick is a huge if which brings us to…
Will the Florida Panthers trade up to number one?
Florida Panthers GM Dale Tallon has told the media that he has had a number of talks with the Avalanche regarding making a trade to allow Florida to move up to the top pick in the draft. Tallon, a master of saying a lot while revealing very little, left the door open to a possible trade when he said, “It would be really unfair of me to not even question or ask them if they were thinking about moving that pick or not”. Speaking of leaving the door open….
Will the Panthers trade down from number two?
Immediately after speaking on the possibilities of moving up a spot, Tallon brought up the possibility that the Panthers could move down in the draft if the right deal comes along. Essentially what we can gleam from Tallon’s comments is, we have no idea what the Panthers are going to do, Tallon probably does not know exactly what he will do. The plan is to stay flexible and be on the look out for ways to best improve the team.
Who will the Panthers select with the second pick?
It is very likely the Panthers will not make a deal and will in fact hold onto their second overall pick. If this is the case, the Panthers will either take Seth Jones or Nathan MacKinnon depending on what happens with the Avalanche at the top of the draft. The Avalanche have been talking MacKinnon for the past week but I still suspect that Seth Jones may be their true target. Whatever Colorado does, if the Panthers stay at two, they are going to get an excellent young player with a great future.
- I wrote about the Panthers-Ilya Bryzgalov rumor yesterday and while it seems far-fetched at this point, it is definitely one of the more intriguing rumors out there.
- The Panthers have thrown their hat into the Vincent Lecavalier ring. As just about every team in the league has “expressed interest” in Lecavalier, him moving to the Panthers seems like a long shot.
- Will we see a resolution to the Weiss situation before the day is done? The fact that he has not been dealt yet seems to indicate that the Panthers are putting in a serious effort in re-singing the veteran center but ultimately I think he will be moved before free agency starts on Friday.
- I mentioned yesterday that the Panthers are shopping Tomas Fleischmann and Scott Clemmensen. This front has been quiet for now but we should see some new developments as we approach free agency.
The Panthers will be adding a big name young talent today in the draft but the real Panthers star of today will be GM Dale Tallon. The NHL Draft and the pending start to NHL free agency are the domain of the general manager. Once the season begins the focus will be on the players and coaches but for now the spotlight will be on Tallon.
Enjoy the draft today and follow The Rat Trick on twitter for all your up to the second breaking Florida Panthers’ news.