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Panthers Agree to Terms With D Bryan Allen & D Branislav Mezei

by Staff Writer / Florida Panthers

SUNRISE, Fla. - Florida Panthers General Manager Mike Keenan announced today that the club has agreed to terms with D Bryan Allen and D Branislav Mezei.

Allen, 25, was acquired by the Panthers in a trade from Vancouver on June 23 along with RW Todd Bertuzzi and G Alex Auld. Allen posted career highs last season in games played (77), goals (7), assists (10) and penalty minutes (115).

For his career in the NHL, Allen has played in 216 games all with Vancouver, registering 32 points (14-18-32) and 288 PIM. He was drafted by Vancouver with their fourth overall pick in the 1998 NHL Entry Draft.

Mezei, 25, appeared in just 16 games with the Panthers last season, after suffering a torn MCL on Nov. 9 vs. New York Rangers. The Nitra, Slovakia native has played in 72 games in three years with the Cats recording 10 points (2-8-10) and 127 PIM.

The Panthers acquired Mezei from the New York Islanders in exchange for Jason Wiemer on July 3, 2002. For his career in the NHL, he has played in 138 contests scoring three goals with 14 assists and 192 PIM.

"Both Bryan and Branislav are big and physical defensemen who we are pleased to have come to terms with," said Keenan. "Both players will play important roles on our club this year and we are confident that they will provide us with solid play along the blueline."

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