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Panthers talked to Avalanche about top-pick trade @NHLdotcom

Florida Panthers general manager Dale Tallon said Saturday he has spoken to the Colorado Avalanche about trading for the No. 1 pick in the 2013 NHL Draft.

"I've had conversation with them on a couple of occasions," Tallon told the Panthers website. "We talked [Friday] and I'm expecting to talk to them again [Saturday]. You have to exhaust every opportunity to get better."

The Panthers hold the No. 2 pick in the draft Sunday (3 p.m. ET; NBCSN, TSN).

"It would be really unfair of me to not even question or ask them if they were thinking about moving that pick or not, and then I find out that they move it for something that we had or more that we could have given them to get that; that would be awfully frustrating for our franchise and for all of us," Tallon said of moving up one position.

The Avalanche have said publically they are leaning toward selecting forward Nathan MacKinnon, bypassing defenseman Seth Jones. Tallon would not say whom the Panthers prefer.

"We're excited about it," Tallon said. "There are three things. ... We either sit and take the second pick, either a defenseman or forward; we're still discussing it, we're having some great conversation about it.

"Or we move back and still get one of the top players and pick up another asset. Or if we move up and give up an asset. Those are the three options that we're discussing and that we have. So whatever option makes the best sense for our franchise is what we're going to do."

Forwards Jonathan Drouin and Alexsander Barkov are likely to round out the top four picks. Tallon said he has talked to each of them, and as many as 10 possible picks.

"The top four guys are slam dunks," Tallon said. "We're still debating, we're still debating. It depends if Colorado, whoever they take or don't take, and then we'll go from there. But we're very prepared and we're satisfied that any of those three players will make a difference with us."

Tallon said he is taking Avalanche executive Joe Sakic and coach Patrick Roy at their word about their possible selection of MacKinnon.

"I have to," Tallon said. "I think that Patrick and Joe, based on their history as players and as people, they are new to the game (each was hired after the season), but I believe that they are very truthful, how they played as players and how they acted as players. I'm not concerned about any of that. I'm just concerned about what we can do."

The Panthers failed to make the Stanley Cup Playoffs in 2012-13 after winning the Southeast Division the prior season. Tallon will try to take advantage of this first-round pick, wherever it ends up.

"You get only one kick at the can, you better make sure it's the right one," Tallon said. "We're very fortunate to be picking where we're picking, and we're going to get a really good player."

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