Flyers vs. Hurricanes
Tracking the Storm

Allen, Samsonov Surprised by Circumstances, not Trade

Tuesday, 03.1.2011 / 12:44 PM ET / Tracking the Storm
By Paul Branecky
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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
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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 x - MTL 76 47 21 8 200 169 102
2 x - NYR 75 47 21 7 228 177 101
3 TBL 76 46 23 7 244 198 99
4 NYI 77 45 27 5 235 215 95
5 PIT 75 41 23 11 207 188 93
6 DET 75 40 23 12 220 206 92
7 WSH 76 41 25 10 223 188 92
8 BOS 76 38 25 13 201 196 89
9 OTT 75 37 26 12 218 203 86
10 FLA 76 35 26 15 190 207 85
11 PHI 76 30 29 17 198 219 77
12 CBJ 75 36 35 4 207 232 76
13 NJD 76 31 33 12 168 194 74
14 CAR 75 28 36 11 174 204 67
15 TOR 76 28 42 6 198 244 62
16 BUF 75 20 47 8 144 254 48


E. Staal 70 21 28 -12 49
J. Faulk 75 15 32 -17 47
E. Lindholm 74 16 21 -19 37
J. Skinner 70 18 13 -21 31
V. Rask 73 11 20 -12 31
R. Nash 68 8 17 -10 25
N. Gerbe 71 8 17 -13 25
J. McClement 75 7 13 -3 20
A. Nestrasil 47 7 13 4 20
J. Staal 39 4 16 -7 20
C. Ward 20 21 5 .911 2.40
A. Khudobin 8 15 6 .904 2.60