Apparently Bob Murray was serious about waiting until the 20 game mark before making a trade as today Bryan Allen was shipped off to Montreal for Rene Bourque.
Instant analysis on this one is: I'll take you're problem if you take mine. The Canadiens get rid of Bourque's $3.3M cap hit for next season and the Ducks get rid of Bryan Allen, theoretically to leave room - in terms of bodies, not money - for Josh Manson to stay up. That leaves the Ducks with six NHL contracts on defense (Cam Fowler, Francois Beauchemin, Ben Lovejoy, Sami Vatanen, Clayton Stoner and Mark Fistric) plus three two-way contracts (Manson, Hampus Lindholm and Mat Clark, who will inevitably be sent down once Lovejoy or Fistric gets healthy).
Bourque put up 16 points (9-7-16) in 63 games played last year, averaging 14:11 per game with 45.34 CF%. So far this year he's got two assists in 13 games, been waived and sent down to the AHL. Effectively he is Dany Heatley at more than triple the price, for an extra year. When put in that context, one might wonder if it wouldn't have been just as reasonable to scratch Allen for the rest of the year and let his contract run out.... unless there are more moves to come.
Nobody here is going to be crying for the loss of Allen, but Bourque doesn't really add anything of value, but that's what you get when you trade someone nobody wants for someone else nobody wants.
Here's the quick report from Habs Eyes on the Prize. Much like Montreal's trade of 2007 Stanley Cup Champion Travis Moen for Sergei Gonchar last week, apparently nobody is really happy or unhappy with this move, it just kind of is.
Update: Pierre Lebrun points out the obvious that I overlooked, Bourque's actual salary is only $2.5M for both this year and next (as opposed to Allen's $3.5M), which is a slight upside for a budget team like the Ducks as well. But that second year is still annoying.
#NHLDucks GM Bob Murray on a conference call with reporters now. "Bourque will be coming to Anaheim and will get a decent look at a spot."— Anaheim Ducks (@AnaheimDucks) November 20, 2014
Murray: "With some the things that have went on, I wasn't happy w/ our forwards. I like his size and skating. We're not moving well enough."— Anaheim Ducks (@AnaheimDucks) November 20, 2014
Murray: "[Bourque] has also proven he can score in the playoffs, if you get there. I liked that as well."— Anaheim Ducks (@AnaheimDucks) November 20, 2014