People tend to ask "Where were you when…" some major historical event happened. When someone asks you this sort of question and you can answer with minimal hesitation, it means that the event was associated with some pretty intense emotions for you, and sometimes these emotions reach the classification of "overwhelming."
So where were you when Bryan Allen got traded?
I was at work. It was about a week before Thanksgiving. I was sitting in the back of the restaurant I worked a few months at, I can tell you every single coworker who was present, and I can tell you that for breakfast I had a pretty mediocre breakfast burrito. Then my phone began beeping incessantly, and when I unlocked the screen my eyes were attacked by nothing but capital letters and absurd amounts of punctuation.
Bryan Allen was no longer a Duck! To say I jumped for joy is an understatement. I ended up going home early from work because I was too ecstatic to stay cooped up there much longer.
On the first day of free agency in 2012, the Anaheim Ducks signed Allen to a three-year contract with a $3.5 million cap hit each season. Now considering Lubomir Visnovsky had been traded during the NHL Entry Draft and Toni Lydman was approaching free agency the following season, I understand the quest for more depth players with some experience and some grit.
This does not change the fact that Allen was an overpaid, underperforming nightmare. Let’s continue, shall we?
At the start of the 2014-2015 season Allen was still recovering from a lower body injury, and was sent to the AHL to condition with the Norfolk Admirals. After just two games with the Ads, Anaheim called the big-bodied blue liner back to the big leagues, and Allen played in all of six games in November before he was sent to Montreal on November 20th.
In his six game stint with Anaheim the Ducks lost five contests (four of them going into overtime or shootout), and won one game in a shootout. During this time Allen posted a whopping one point (0+1=1), four penalty minutes, and four shots on goal.
So what was his impact on the Ducks? Well, his contribution falls somewhere between being negligible and negative.
When Allen would hit the ice either he would be the useless defender covering the point in the offensive zone or he would get straight up outskated by the opponent forcing the Anaheim goalies to either bail him out with a highlight-worthy save or the Ducks would be down a (or another) goal in that game.
Too often Allen was the culprit of an inopportune turnover or poorly-timed icing, and come on, who can really forget about the abysmal attempted clear then turnover that allowed the Los Angeles Kings’ Marian Gaborik to score the game-tying goal with just seconds left in Game One in the Western Conference Quarterfinals in 2013-14?
Fool me once? Shame on you. Fool me twice? Shame on me. Fool me three times? Why are you still on my team? Get out.
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Clearly as much as I hate to admit this (and strongly disagree with the strategy involved,) this team is not built on a corps of defensively-focused blue liners. Because of that Allen was entirely out of place in the Ducks’ system. I can safely say that I am more than happy to be rid of Allen strictly because of his tendency to make boneheaded decisions with the puck. I remember joking with a friend that Allen would not skate with the puck longer than four or five strides, and as much as I understand he was not a strong puck handler, with the system that Anaheim has set in place that seems to be a key asset required for legitimate long-term consideration. Good riddance and happy trails, Mr. Bryan Allen!