As each moment passes, we get closer to July 1st and the day that Carolina Hurricanes defenseman Bryan Allen becomes an unrestricted free agent. This might not seem like much to a casual observer because players leave all the time but to the Hurricanes, Allen leaving is a pretty big loss. In the general sense, defensive d-men like Allen are not that difficult to replace. If a GM is looking for a player who can play a responsible game in his own end, kill penalties and not contribute much offensively, he can probably find one without needing to spend a lot of money. However, what makes Allen more difficult to replace is the type of role he played on the Hurricanes last season and the lack of available defensemen on the market who can step into that role.
Let's take a trip back to late-February when the thought among Carolina fans was that Allen would be traded for kings ransom. The reason why people thought Allen would fetch that kind of return is because he played an important role on the Hurricanes and they weren't going to let him go for a small package. What was being ignored here was the question of how much Allen is worth to other teams, a playoff team to be specific.
Allen is a top four defenseman and a key penalty killer on the Hurricanes but would be used in the same situations on a team like Los Angeles, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, San Jose, Chicago or Detroit? Seeing where Allen stands compared to the rest of the league will give us a better idea of this and how much Allen is worth on the open market. For all we know, the Hurricanes may not need to drastically overpay Allen to keep him for another year or two because other teams might not see him as valuable as Carolina does.
All indications seem to be that Allen will leave in a few weeks, but just for the sake of it, we are going to compare Allen to some other defensemen in the league to see how much his new contract should pay him. Whether he stays or goes. We will start looking at this after the jump.