As the summer continues to move forward let it be noted that Carolina Hurricanes defenseman Bryan Allen becomes an unrestricted free agent on July 1. Allen is a key cog in the Hurricanes defense and losing him could set the team back tremendously since they are already limited at the position. In most cases defensemen are pretty easy to replace but Allen has a skill set that makes him less expendable. The good news is that there aren’t tons of guys on the market that the Hurricanes can pursue so Allen has a little leverage. I don’t suspect he can command a lot of money though because even though there is a lack of players on the market, Allen has to understand that he wasn’t easy to move when the Panthers had leverage to trade him knowing that his contract was about to expire.
Carolina fans had to think that management was going to collect on Allen during the final days of trading but there wasn’t anything major out there so the Hurricanes took their chances. Allen is more of a leader for the Hurricanes and that is part of what makes him valuable but his net worth to other teams is diminished because they already have that type of leadership on their roster.
As far as his play, there is no doubt that Allen is one of the five best defensemen in the NHL. He makes a living as a penalty killer and almost always does a good job keeping the opposing team’s best goal scorer or passer in check. I doubt there will be a lot of suitors out there willing to pay him as much as Carolina will be willing to pay him. Allen on the other hand has to think there is more money out there on the open market. If other teams come with legitimate offers, the Hurricanes may have to overspend to keep Allen on their roster. If that happens, then Allen will have made a wise move in opting for free agency versus signing a contract without testing the open market. However if the other teams don’t come calling, you can rest assured that the Hurricanes will be able to keep him for pennies on the dollar and that in itself will help them add more talent to their roster.
At age 31, the lefty still has plenty of hockey left in him. Let’s just hope that at some point this deal gets done and the Hurricanes can shift their focus to eliminate some of the offensive problems that the team needs to address.