The Canadiens have traded left wing Rene Bourque to the Anahem Ducks for 6’5” 34 year old defenseman Bryan Allen.
Allen has played in only six games for the Ducks this season with an average ice time of 18:12, four shots on goal, 11 hits and 10 blocked shots. He missed 14 games with a ‘lower body injury”.
Allen is a former first round draft pick (4th overall) of the Vancouver Canujcks. He was with Vancouver, Florida and Carolina before coming to the Ducks. He was signed by the Ducks as an unrestricted free agent to a three year contract in July of 2012.
Allen has had a couple of season-ending knee surgeries, the most recent in 2008 but by the 18 minutes in ice time and 23 shifts a game he was getting in Anaheim, he still had the confidence of his coach Bruce Boudreau. He became expendable with the return of defenseman Francois Beauchemin to the Ducks lineup Thursday night in Vancouver.
He is the second veteran defenseman added to the Canadiens in the last week, joining Sergei Gonchar who came to the Canadiens for forward Travis Moen. In both cases the Canadiens cleared needed 2015-2016 cap space with the upcoming restricted free agent contracts of Alex Galchenyuk and Brendan Gallagher to be dealt with. The Bourque deal takes the 2015-2016 portion of Bourque’s contract off their books. Allen. like Gonchar, is in the final year of a three year contract. Allen is earning 3.5 million this season. The combined cap space next season created by the two deals is 4.25 million (Under the Redden rule, Bourque was taking up 2.4 million and Moen is due 1.85 next year)
Other than that, the ramifications for the Canadiens roster include another increase in size along their defense. As a left shot, Allen seems destined to a role on the third defense pairing with Mike Weaver. It will also afford to move Nathan Beaulieu, who had a difficult night Tuesday against Pittsburgh, back to Hamilton for more seasoning.
Bourque was assigned to Hamilton ten days ago. After only a goal and two assists with the Canadiens in 13 games, he has two goals and two assists with the Bulldogs in four games. It’s not clear what the Ducks intend to do with him. He has cleared NHL waivers. If Anaheim recalls him, they will be stuck with his 3.33 million cap hit. If not, he will be transfered directly to their Norfolk Admirals AHL affiliate.
Bourque is the second player traded to Anaheim this year. In June they sent former first round draft pick Louis Leblanc to the Ducks for a fifth round draft choice. Leblanc is now playing for Anaheim’s Norfolk farm team where he has 4 goals and 4 assists in 14 games this season.