The Anaheim Ducks added to their defensive corps on Sunday by signing former Hurricanes defenseman Bryan Allen to a three-year contract. The deal will pay Allen a reported $10.5 million, or $3.5 million per season. They didn't stop there, though. The Ducks also signed Sheldon Souray for $11 million over three seasons.
When it came to purely stay-at-home defensemen available in the free-agency class, Allen might have been the best there was to be signed. He is tough in his own zone, often drawing the top assignment and is as fearless as they come when you talk about blocking shots.
At the price of $3.5 million per season, I like this signing quite a bit for the Ducks. He is pretty reliable on the back end and the Ducks needed to shore up the blue line some, so bringing in Allen is a good way to get to that end. After missing all but two games four seasons ago with the Panthers, Allen has been a durable player so the term and money aren't all that risky.
When looking at Allen's offensive impact, it isn't much. He had just one goal this past season with Carolina but did have 13 assists. Obviously not a massive number, but it's at least a little production.
What's more, he averaged 19 minutes of ice time per game and ended the season as just a minus-1 for a Carolina team that gave up 30 more goals than it scored and finished last in the Southeast Division.
Looking back at it, the Hurricanes might have a little regret that they hung onto Allen at the trade deadline. His name was floating in rumors before the deadline passed but GM Jim Rutherford elected to keep him -- and all of his other potential targets -- on the roster in hopes of re-signing them. Obviously now the Hurricanes get nothing in return, except more cap space to chase the really big fish in the sea.
Meanwhile in Souray they are getting a player who is coming off a rebound season. It wasn't long ago that the Oilers had bought out Souray's contract and buried him in the AHL but the Stars gave him a chance on a one-year deal and he rebounded nicely.
"We wanted to get more experience and size and be harder to play against," Ducks GM Bob Murray said. "I thought he played well in Dallas last year."
His season started strong but did taper off some. However he showed he still has a rocket of a shot from the blue line. He finished with six goals and 15 assists on the season.
It's pretty clear what the Ducks targeted as an area to fix this offseason.
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