A few random thoughts from around the web on how Florida made out in Los Angeles. A warning: get acclimated - and quickly - to the word "Tallon"...
Long-term though, the big winners over the weekend was unquestionably the Panthers, a team in need of a major overhaul. Included in (their 13 selections) were the equivalent of five first-rounders, if you count the three they actually took - Erik Gudbranson, Nick Bjugstad and Quinton Howden - plus the two that slipped into the early stages of the second round: John McFarland, and Alexander Petrovic, both of whom were projected to go in the top 30.
- Globe and Mail's Eric Duhatschek
This might be a longer process than frustrated Panthers fans have the patience to put up with, but (GM Dale)Tallon took huge steps toward getting the franchise back on track with his haul from this draft.
- Fanhouse's Bruce Ciskie
Tallon is in the slow lane. (Toronto GM Brian) Burke may speed past him 10 times on the way to the Stanley Cup, but there is every chance Tallon will get there first: "We’ll do it with youth, size and creativity."
- Sportsnet's Mark Spector
Tallon was brought in as GM to recreate the model he built in Chicago and he set the foundation with a remarkable effort at the draft.
- CBS Sports' Wes Goldstein
If there is one trend of the Panthers draft (besides sheer volume), it's that Tallon focused on big players. His first two picks are listed at 6'4" and he only picked one guy under six-feet tall (Benjamin Gallacher, at 5'11"). The league rewards speed and skill, but looking at the Byfugliens and Prongers of the world, it never hurts to have a player who could clear or clog the crease. Tallon apparently received that memo.
- NBC Pro Hockey Talk's James O'Brien
Tallon certainly threw himself right into the Florida fire. He’s barely been on the job for a month, yet he’s already packed the franchise cupboard with prospects, starting with third overall pick Erik Gudbranson on the blueline.
- The Hockey News' Ryan Dixon
There is a variety of opinion on Keith Ballard as an NHL defenceman, but almost everybody outside Vancouver thinks he’s overpaid at $4.2 million this year and for the next three years.
- Toronto Sun's Steve Simmons