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February 28, 2012 | 10:57am ET
Panthers happy to have deals prior to deadline

On Monday morning, the Florida Panthers found themselves in a much different position than they were at last year's deadline.

In February 2011, Panthers GM Dale Tallon shipped out Dennis Wideman, Radek Dvorak, Chris Higgins, Bryan Allen, Bryan McCabe and Cory Stillman, who were all traded away in the days leading to the deadline.

Those moves helped the Panthers free up a ton of salary, allowing Tallon to rebuild his roster with players who have helped the team reach the top of the Southeast Division.

"It's no fun being a seller," Tallon told the Miami Herald. "It was necessary last year."

Although Tallon admitted he did not come close to making a deal on Monday, he has been happy with the two minor trades the Panthers made over the weekend.

The team brought in Jerred Smithson from the Nashville Predators for a sixth-round pick, before acquiring Wojtek Wolski from the New York Rangers in exchange for a minor-leaguer and a third-round selection in 2013.

There was speculation that Tallon might have been shopping defenseman Jason Garrison because of his pending free agency, though the GM has stated that the blueliner is a key piece to the team's success.

"He's a valuable asset," Tallon said. "One of our strengths is our defense. It's very good. We're a good, mobile, fast defensive team that can move the puck out and contribute offensively. Jason is a good shutdown guy with a big shot. We're going to continue to work diligently to get a contract."

In 56 games with the Panthers this season, Garrison has tallied 13 goals and 11 assists for 24 points.

More Trade Deadline Info 
List of Trades |
No-Trade/No-Movement Clauses | Top 25 Available Players | Team-by-Team Cap Info

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