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Q&A: Bryan Allen

The new Ducks defenseman talks about his enthusiasm for coming to Anaheim

Monday, 07.02.2012 / 9:31 PM / News
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Q&A: Bryan Allen
"I’m excited. It’s definitely something new. We’ve been in the east since just after the lockout. Every time you go somewhere on the road, you always wonder, Is this a place I could someday play? And now I’m in Anaheim and I’m thrilled."
By Adam Brady
AnaheimDucks.com

Among the Ducks’ moves to shore up their defense on Sunday's opening day of free agency was the important signing of veteran blueliner Bryan Allen. The 31-year-old Allen is a big stay-at-home defenseman who played all 82 games for Carolina last season and ranked fourth in the league in blocked shots with 188.

The 6-5, 226-pounder was taken fourth overall by Vancouver in the 1998 NHL Entry Draft and has played in 601 career games with the Canucks (2001-06), Panthers (2006-11) and Hurricanes (2011-12). In Carolina, he earned a reputation as not just a gritty d-man, but one of the leaders in the locker room, attributes he’s looking forward to bringing to Anaheim.

From his offseason home in South Florida, Allen talked about coming to the Ducks.


What is your reaction to signing with Anaheim?
I’m excited. It’s definitely something new. We’ve been in the east since just after the lockout. Every time you go somewhere on the road, you always wonder, Is this a place I could someday play? And now I’m in Anaheim and I’m thrilled.

What do you know about Ducks, having played in the Eastern Conference the past few years?
I don’t know a lot. I know their star players and what they’re built around. I know Bob Murray a little bit from when we were both in Vancouver. But after that, not a whole lot. There are no former teammates.

How did the negotiations go?
There were various teams that were interested, but Anaheim was higher on my list of places to eventually go. When they called with an offer, it didn’t take long to accept.

"I’m more or less a stay-at-home defenseman. I’m also someone who plays with a bit of an edge. I’m not necessarily fighting all the time, but I’m a team player who stands up for my teammates and plays with an aggressive style."
What appealed to you about Anaheim?
They have a history of winning the Stanley Cup and the core players they’ve built around is exciting. For my family, being a little bit older and having a couple of kids [4-year-old Layla and 1-year-old Brenner], anyone you talk to says it’s a great place to live.

How would you describe your game for Ducks fans who haven’t seen you?
I’m more or less a stay-at-home defenseman. I’m also someone who plays with a bit of an edge. I’m not necessarily fighting all the time, but I’m a team player who stands up for my teammates and plays with an aggressive style.

In Carolina you were thought of as a leader in that locker room. Is that something you pride yourself on?
Definitely. It just goes along with character and being comfortable having played in the league for several years. It comes a little easier, especially when I was in Carolina and Florida. We had some pretty young teams, so you kind of get into that role naturally.

You were fourth in the league in blocked shots last year. Is that something else you take pride in?
Yeah, that’s something you try and focus on. I think playing a number of minutes on the penalty kill, that’s something that’ inevitable. But it’s definitely something I take pride in. I’m obviously not a points guy or a guy who is going to be on the power play, but I’ve always viewed being on special teams as a privilege. I think the penalty kill is just as important as the power play.

You’ve dealt with injuries a bit during your career, so was it a big deal for you to play all 82 games last season?
Yeah, it was a rewarding thing in a way because I’ve dealt with injuries, and I even had one year where I had knee surgery and missed every game but two. Things follow you around and people think, He’s been hurt, so he’s always hurt. There’s that stigma. In the last three years, I think I’ve missed less than 20 games. I feel as healthy as ever, and it definitely meant a lot to play all 82 games last year.

"Anytime I’ve come to Anaheim to play, it’s always such a great city and one of the best spots to go to on the road. We can’t wait to get there."
Have you started doing some research on Orange County yet?
We’ve definitely tried. I’ve talked to a few guys who played there before and I’m seeing where guys lived. It’s definitely high on our list of priorities the last few days. Probably the biggest thing is to find a house and a preschool for my daughter. Not having spent that much time there, you don’t know the city too well, so it’s a bit of a process.

You’ve been on a few teams in your career. Is it tough to move cities?
It’s definitely a challenge, especially when you have kids and a lot more comes along with that, whether it’s finding schools or the right place to live. You want everyone to be comfortable and happy when you are, so we take the time to make the right decisions. In the same sense, we’re excited. Anytime I’ve come to Anaheim to play, it’s always such a great city and one of the best spots to go to on the road. We can’t wait to get there.

What are your plans the rest of the offseason?
To be honest, we’re not exactly sure. We’re trying to get there as soon as possible, but I think it will be around the 23rd of July. We’re actually spending some time in South Florida right now, which is where I lived when I played for the Panthers. My wife and I are from Kingston, Ontario, and we usually spend time there each offseason. But right now we’re actually we’re working on getting our green cards. It’s a long process with paperwork and filing, and it’s basically a lot of time and money.  We’re in the last stages, and that’s the reason we have to stay in the States. It’s a little easier doing it that way. We’re getting some travel documents and taking a trip to Canada this weekend. Other than that, it’s just a waiting process. But we’re definitely looking forward to getting out there and we’re excited about it.


SCHEDULE

HOME
AWAY
PROMOTIONAL

STANDINGS

WESTERN CONFERENCE
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 z - ANA 82 54 20 8 266 209 116
2 y - COL 82 52 22 8 250 220 112
3 x - STL 82 52 23 7 248 191 111
4 x - SJS 82 51 22 9 249 200 111
5 x - CHI 82 46 21 15 267 220 107
6 x - LAK 82 46 28 8 206 174 100
7 x - MIN 82 43 27 12 207 206 98
8 x - DAL 82 40 31 11 235 228 91
9 PHX 82 37 30 15 216 231 89
10 NSH 82 38 32 12 216 242 88
11 WPG 82 37 35 10 227 237 84
12 VAN 82 36 35 11 196 223 83
13 CGY 82 35 40 7 209 241 77
14 EDM 82 29 44 9 203 270 67

STATS

2013-2014 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
R. Getzlaf 77 31 56 28 87
C. Perry 81 43 39 32 82
N. Bonino 77 22 27 14 49
M. Perreault 69 18 25 13 43
A. Cogliano 82 21 21 13 42
C. Fowler 70 6 30 15 36
K. Palmieri 71 14 17 9 31
D. Winnik 76 6 24 6 30
H. Lindholm 78 6 24 29 30
S. Koivu 65 11 18 3 29
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
F. Andersen 20 5 0 .923 2.29
J. Hiller 29 13 7 .911 2.48
 

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