Sign in with your NHL account:
  • Submit
  • Or
  • Sign in with Google
Wild vs. Hurricanes
Tracking the Storm

Allen, Samsonov Surprised by Circumstances, not Trade

Tuesday, 03.01.2011 / 12:44 PM / Tracking the Storm
By Paul Branecky
Share with your Friends

Allen, Samsonov Surprised by Circumstances, not Trade
Even though Bryan Allen and Sergei Samsonov weren’t surprised to be traded, they couldn’t have imagined it would work out like this.

Paul Branecky
Follow on Twitter

One day after the transaction that swapped the players between Carolina and Florida, those two players found themselves in strange locker rooms preparing to play the team they practiced with just one day earlier.

”It’s definitely a different scenario and it’ll be a weird for a while, but once you start playing it’s just a game and it will be fine,” said Allen, speaking from the Hurricanes’ locker room.

“I’m sure things will settle down after this day, but right now it’s a bit awkward,” said Samsonov, cramped into the visitors’ room at the RBC Center for the first time in years.

For those who have experienced something similar as either players or observers in the past, playing against one’s former team for the first time can present its unique challenges.

“I think it makes it a little more difficult, to be honest with you,” said Hurricanes coach Paul Maurice, who expects to pair Allen with Jay Harrison to start. “Especially with Bryan’s game, he wants to come out and be physical, and it’s a little harder to hit the guys you were just battling with, but they’re professionals and they’ll get over it.”

“It’s good to get it over with,” said Hurricane-turned-Panther-turned-Hurricane-again Cory Stillman, whose first game with the Panthers three years ago was against Carolina. “It’s always an emotional game, especially for Bryan having been there for five years.”

Although Allen’s contract runs through next season, meaning that he wasn’t a name mentioned prominently in trade rumors leading to Monday’s deadline, he said that his move to Carolina still didn’t come as a complete shock.

“In our situation that we were in in Florida, it could have been anyone,” he said, referring to the amount of deals his former employer made as a “selling” team over the last month. “I had a good time in Florida, but I’m excited to be here.”

Allen could have rejected the move if he so chose, as his contract holds a no-trade clause that he had to waive in order to join the Hurricanes. He did so to re-join the playoff hunt and on the recommendation of Stillman, who preceded his arrival by just four days.

“Bryan called me on the trade to see what it was like and I sold him, but I didn’t make his choice,” said Stillman. “I let him say why he thought he should come here and I gave my two cents. I think it’s a great place to play. Obviously playing in the playoffs here before and seeing the excitement around the city, it’s a fresh start and it will be a great thing for him.”

“It’s the people outside of the game that are affected the most, and people don’t realize that sometimes,” said Allen. “My wife has been great and really supportive, and we’re both looking forward to it. I know she talked to Cory’s wife as well and it’s a good spot that once you’re here people want to stay and be part of.”

In his press conference following Monday’s trade, Hurricanes General Manager Jim Rutherford described Allen as a big, gritty defenseman who could help clear the crease in front of his own net. The following day, Stillman backed up that assessment.

“He’s a defensive defenseman that’s mean to play against,” he said. “He’s going to punish people.”

Allen said that he was hoping to stay on the Panthers’ 5 p.m. charter to Raleigh on Monday, but he ended up on a commercial flight out of Miami that was delayed several hours due to thunderstorms. As such, he said that he did not arrive in his hotel room until 4:30 a.m. Meanwhile, Samsonov slept in his own bed, with Florida’s post-game trip home the first time he’ll have to pack up with his new team.

Samsonov, aware of his expiring contract and having heard rumors, said he was prepared for the possibility of having to leave town, even if he thought it would be one day earlier.

“You’re sort of expecting it and in your head you’re trying to make preparations in case it happens,” he said.

“It is difficult,” said Maurice. “You tell a player he’s been traded and that’s pretty much all he hears, and after that you tell him how important he was and how much you appreciated his professionalism and his effort, but at the end of the day, he’s leaving.”

With Allen in the lineup and the Hurricanes carrying seven defenseman, 23-year-old Derek Joslin will be a healthy scratch on Tuesday. Even with Eric Staal’s return to the lineup, the team will keep Jeff Skinner at center, as all three players on the second line will switch from the positions they’ve held from the last several weeks.

“We liked (Skinner) on the wing when that line was going, but that line struggled a bit recently at both ends," said Maurice. “I liked the way he played down low. When Eric went down he went back to the middle and was effective. The more time we can get him there, we’ll hopefully get that line going a little bit, and if not, we’ll adjust it again.”




1 MTL 61 40 16 5 167 135 85
2 NYI 63 41 20 2 202 174 84
3 NYR 60 38 16 6 190 148 82
4 TBL 63 38 19 6 207 167 82
5 DET 60 34 15 11 176 156 79
6 PIT 61 35 17 9 176 152 79
7 WSH 63 33 20 10 184 159 76
8 BOS 61 30 22 9 161 160 69
9 FLA 61 26 22 13 145 172 65
10 PHI 62 26 25 11 164 181 63
11 OTT 59 26 23 10 167 161 62
12 NJD 62 25 27 10 139 164 60
13 CBJ 60 26 30 4 157 189 56
14 TOR 61 25 31 5 170 185 55
15 CAR 60 23 30 7 137 159 53
16 BUF 62 19 38 5 120 207 43


J. Faulk 60 11 28 -14 39
E. Staal 55 18 18 -9 36
E. Lindholm 59 11 16 -15 27
J. Skinner 55 16 9 -15 25
R. Nash 57 7 15 -8 22
N. Gerbe 56 7 14 -11 21
V. Rask 58 8 11 -16 19
J. McClement 60 4 12 1 16
J. Staal 24 4 11 -1 15
A. Semin 36 2 12 -8 14
C. Ward 16 19 4 .914 2.35
A. Khudobin 7 11 3 .906 2.60