Next up we will review the performance of Carolina Hurricanes defenseman, Bryan Allen.
The Hurricanes acquired Allen from the Florida Panthers in exchange for Sergei Samsonov on February 28 of this past season. Most Carolina fans seemed pretty happy with the trade and the blueliner waived a no-trade clause in his contract to relocate, so apparently he was happy with the deal as well.
Allen was originally drafted by the Vancouver Canucks and was the fourth overall pick in the 1998 NHL Entry Draft. He was eventually dealt to Florida in the Roberto Luongo trade and then signed a five-year deal with the Cats during the summer of 2007.
Coincidence or not, after the acquisition the Hurricanes finished the season 11-6-2 and the team was able to reduce their previous shots against and goals against averages.
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The Good: Allen brought a much needed physicality to the Carolina blueline. He has the ability and willingness to clear the crease when necessary. He is good at using his strength to hold up opposing forwards along the boards and can strip the puck from them. He is a difficult player to play against and can get nasty and mean at times, as he gets under the opposition's skin. Allen will also drop the gloves to stand up for a teammate and has 14 fights in the past two years with a record of 3-8-3 according to HockeyFights.com. He blocks a lot of shots, (103) and will be among the team leaders with hits, (118 total last year).
The Bad: The defenseman can be undisciplined at times and can take too many penalties. He is quick for his size, but can be beaten by smaller, faster forwards. Allen's not necessarily known as a puck mover, but he will take a hit to make a play and usually has a good first pass out of his zone. He's never really been known as an offensive guy, so you can't count on many points out of him. He's had to fight some injuries in his career and had major knee surgery and missed 80 games in the 2008-09 season. Last season he broke his foot and missed nine games in December.
The Money: This is an important season for the blueliner. He is in the final year of his five-year contract which will pay him $3.15 million. His cap hit is $2.9 million.
What's your first impression of the defenseman? What grade would you give him for his first 19 games as a Hurricane?