Feb 232012

Throughout the week, CHB will host a series of posts highlighting possible trade targets that the Vancouver Canucks could be pursuing at the trade deadline next Monday.

D Bryan Allen, Carolina Hurricanes, $2.9M, UFA 2012

Can you go back? Can Bryan Allen come back? It’s been nearly six years since the Luongo-Bertuzzi trade was finalized and lost in the hype of acquiring the all-time Canucks leader in wins and shutouts was that they had lost a fairly rugged, hard-nosed blue liner in Bryan Allen, who was just starting to hit his stride as a bottom-pairing defenceman.

What he brings

If Andrew Alberts isn’t going to use his physical abilities in the top six, Bryan Allen certainly will. Too often has Alberts been given the chance to finish a check only to ease up on the opposition, and you get the sense Allen wouldn’t hesitate to do so when the game is on the line. But perhaps most notably is Allen’s ability to get in the shooting lanes and block shots. He has 130 blocked shots thus far, which would put him far and away ahead of the Canucks leader Alex Edler (98).

Why he fits

Right sided defenceman, right sided defenceman, right sided defenceman. That is far and away the biggest advantage to acquiring Bryan Allen. Let’s put it this way, if a left-side defenceman in the top four (Hamhuis or Edler) were to get injured (as it happened during the SCF), the Canucks could survive knowing Aaron Rome can step in (although that wasn’t an option after his suspension in the final). If the Canucks suffer an injury to a right-side defenceman in the top four (Bieksa or Salo, and I stress Salo especially), the Canucks are forced to use Chris Tanev in the top four. That is simply not an option. At the worst, Allen is a right-sided Aaron Rome. Also, consider that Keith Ballard is a natural left-side defenceman forced to play the right-side when healthy.

What he’ll cost

With Tuomo Ruutu and Tim Gleason re-signed and presumably off the market, the ‘Canes may use UFAs-to-be, Allen or Jaroslav Spacek, to help re-stock the cupboard. Jim Rutherford will be asking for value similar to what Niklas Grossman got (2nd and 3rd round pick). For whatever reason, defensive defenceman are at a premium at the trade deadline so fans should be prepared to pay through the nose for one.

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