Defenseman Bryan Allen, who proved a stalwart on the blue line in his first season with the Panthers while setting career-highs in assists (21) and points (25), agreed Wednesday to a five-year contract extension.
The signing of Allen by GM/Head Coach Jacques Martin and assistant general manager Randy Sexton signals the first of what the Panthers hope to be several significant signings over the off-season.
“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,” said Martin. “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.”
Allen, 26, whose play improved as the season progressed despite being hampered by a sports hernia, ended the 2006-07 season with a plus-7 rating while being paired mostly with Jay Bouwmeester.
"I'm very excited to sign this contract extension with the Panthers," said Allen. "I enjoyed my first season here in South Florida and I believe our club is headed in the right direction. We made great strides during the second half of last year and we're all excited about next season. I can't wait to start the year and get our great fans excited about Panthers hockey."
The Kingston, Ontario native has played in 298 NHL contests for both Florida (2006-07) and Vancouver (2000-06) scoring 18 goals with 39 assists and 400 penalty minutes. He was originally drafted by the Vancouver Canucks with their first choice (4th overall) in the 1998 NHL Entry Draft.Goldie's BlogMedia Transcript