Anaheim Ducks Trade Bryan Allen to Montreal Canadiens for Rene Bourque


The Anaheim Ducks had some traffic on their blue-line, but they have made a move to alleviate some space there by dealing veteran defenseman Bryan Allen to the Montreal Canadiens for forward Rene Bourque.

The Ducks originally signed Allen to a three year, $10.5 million contract on July 1st, 2012. Allen played 115 regular season games with the Ducks, scoring 17 points (all assists) with a +21 rating and 113 penalty minutes. Allen also played all 20 playoff games for the Ducks in the past two season, scoring his only goal with the Ducks in Game 4 against the Dallas Stars last season. He scored a goal and an assist in 20 games, while finishing with a -3 rating and 30 penalty minutes in those 20 games.

Bourque was assigned to the Hamilton Bulldogs of the AHL by the Canadiens on November 10th. The 32 year old winger had scored two points (both assists) while having a -9 rating through 13 games with Montreal. Bourque has always had the skillset and potential to be a great winger in the league, but his lack of production and the strong play of Jiri Sekac made Bourque expendable in Montreal. Bourque came to the Canadiens from the Calgary Flames, when the Flames sent Bourque, Patrick Holland, and a 2013 2nd round pick to the Canadiens for Mike Cammalleri, Karri Ramo, and a 2012 5th round pick. Bourque scored 21 goals and 39 points and had a -27 rating with the Canadiens over parts of four seasons. However, Bourque was a key part of the Canadiens’ run to the Eastern Conference Finals last season, scoring a team-leading eight goals. His 11 points were tied for third on the team with Max Pacioretty and Brendan Gallagher in the playoffs last season. In 22 postseason games with the Canadiens, Bourque scored ten goals, 14 points, a +3 rating, and 37 penalty minutes.

The move clears $166,667 in cap space for the Ducks: Allen’s cap hit is $3.5 million, while Bourque’s cap hit is $3.33 million (thanks to a six year, $20 million contract extension he signed in Calgary). Both teams are unloading players they can no longer realistically fit on their rosters.

Allen returned from a hamstring injury, but he only really received playing time thanks to injuries to Ben Lovejoy, Francois Beauchemin, and Mark Fistric. Youngster Josh Manson has stepped in and played very well, but he would have to return to the AHL in order to get everyday playing time. Clayton Stoner is a similar player to Allen, and Stoner signed a four-year, $13 million deal with the Ducks in free agency this past offseason. In Bourque, the Ducks get another big forward with the potential to be a power-forward. The Ducks signed Dany Heatley in the offseason to a one year, $1 million deal to be a big scoring threat with Ryan Getzlaf and Corey Perry, but injuries and sub-par play have seen Heatley be a healthy scratch and go back on Injured Reserve with a groin injury. General manager Bob Murray has been looking to stabilize the top-line left-wing position for the Ducks, and Bourque could be an interesting option with Getzlaf and Perry.

Bourque was sent to the AHL because he wasn’t performing with the Canadiens, blocking young players from getting into the lineup. Sekac has had two goals and four points since his insertion into the lineup, and Bourque was not going to get an opportunity to crack the Canadiens’ NHL roster without first producing in the AHL with Hamilton. The Canadiens have also made moves to shore up their blue-line, making a deal just nine days ago to acquire Sergei Gonchar from the Dallas Stars for Travis Moen. Ultimately, it’s a change of scenery for both Allen and Bourque, who will each look to get more consistent ice time with their new teams. Allen is in the last year of his contract, while Bourque still has one more season left on the books (though his salary for next season is less than his actual cap hit).

Jason Byun is the editor for Pucks of a Feather. He can be found on Twitter. For more Anaheim Ducks coverage, follow Pucks of a Feather on Twitter or like us on Facebook.