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Panthers Re-Sign Allen Long Term


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The Panthers announced Wednesday morning that they signed defenseman Bryan Allen to a five-year contract.


Allen, acquired last June as part of the Roberto Luongo trade with Vancouver, had a very solid season in 2006-07. Allen, who played in all 82 games, tied a career high in points (25) and had a career high 21 assists.


Terms of the deal were not disclosed; Allen made $1.55 million last season. Had he not resigned, Allen would have been a restricted free agent on July 1 and could have become an unrestricted free agent after next season.


Panthers general manager Jacques Martin and Allen, 26, were not available for comment Wednesday morning, but the Panthers said both would address the media later in the day.


Allen just completed his fourth full season in the NHL.


''Bryan proved to be one of our top four defensemen last year and he will continue to play a vital role in our team's future success,'' Martin said in a statement.


``He is a very talented and physical player with a tremendous work ethic, who is an asset to our organization both on and off the ice. With the signing of Allen, we now have assembled a core nucleus of defensemen for next season that includes Jay Bouwmeester, Ruslan Salei and Mike Van Ryn.''




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Good move. I also like Martin trading Gratton. We finally have a real plan in SoFla. With our defensive core basically all locked up, with some depth in the minors, we are set there for years.



And 5 years for that little is such a great move, especially when you have the salary cap to contend with.

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Good move and all, but not keep ONE thread for the entire Panther/NHL offseason? :confused


Please no. I hate when boards start doing that. Just merging everything under a broad subject into one big unreadable thread.



Agreed. Is having a bunch of different threads really such a problem? Who wants to go through 20+ pages looking for the start of a topic? Each subject deserves it's own thread.

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Thursday, June 14, 2007


Panthers coach and General Manager Jacques Martin spoke Wednesday about players he wants to build his team around going forward. Defenseman Bryan Allen clearly made the cut. Center Chris Gratton did not.


Hours after announcing that Allen had been signed to a five-year contract worth $14.5 million, the Panthers shipped Gratton to Tampa Bay for a conditional second-round draft pick.




Martin said negotiations are under way for multiyear deals with restricted free agents Nathan Horton and Stephen Weiss. And he said he plans to launch talks with the agent of Jay Bouwmeester after July 1, the first day negotiations can begin with players already under contract for next season.


"The key is to sign the players you want to build your organization around to long-term deals, as long as they're fair to the organization and fair to the player," Martin said.


"We view Bryan as a top-four defenseman. Now three of our top four defensemen are on long-term deals," he added, also referring to Mike Van Ryn and Ruslan Salei, who both have three years remaining on contracts.


Gratton played the past two seasons in Florida after signing as a free agent coming out of the lockout. He would have been entering the final year of a two-year deal worth $3 million; instead, the Panthers will have their choice of a second-round pick in either next week's draft or the 2008 draft.


"This gives us more flexibility at the draft (and) also frees up some money for us," Martin said.


Gratton, 31, totaled 30 goals and 71 points in 154 games but always struggled to find a role. A center for most of his career, he spent much of last season at wing.


Allen, 26, set career highs with 21 assists and and 25 points last season. He admittedly struggled for much of the year before he and Bouwmeester were reunited and became a solid pairing.


"It probably wasn't until into the new year things got settled," Allen said.


After amassing a plus-minus rating of minus-thre with just one goal and 12 points in his first 52 games, he was a plus-10 with three goals and 11 assists over his final 30.


Allen acknowledged that the term of his contract underscores a belief that the team is headed in the right direction under Martin.


"It's easy to criticize all the things that have happened in the past," he said. "There was a lot of uncertainty, a lack of direction, a lot of changes in management. But I've talked quite a bit with (Assistant GM Randy Sexton) and I really believe in the direction they have in the organization."


Allen was acquired along with Todd Bertuzzi and Alex Auld last June 23 in the controversial trade that sent Roberto Luongo to Vancouver.

I :notworthy

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