Bryan Allen

Anaheim inks Bryan Allen: three years, $10.5 million


After trading Lubomir Visnovsky at the draft, the Anaheim Ducks had a void to fill on their blueline — and on the opening day of free agency, they filled it.

The Ducks have agreed to terms with former Carolina defenseman Bryan Allen to the tune of three years, $10.5 million. The average annual cap hit will be $3.5 million per season.

Allen, 31, spent the last season-and-a-half in Carolina after being dealt from Florida at the 2011 trade deadline. The defensive defenseman appeared in 82 games for the ‘Canes last season, recording 1G-13A-14 points while averaging just over 19 minutes a game.

Like everybody not named Brad Boyes, Allen got a raise today. He was making $2.9 million annually on his last deal.

It’ll be interesting to see what other moves Anaheim makes this summer. GM Bob Murray has constructed a solid — if unspectacular — blueline of Allen, Francois Beauchemin, Toni Lydman, Cam Fowler and Luca Sbisa, all for the relatively low price of $14 million.

That could provide flexibility to add salary in any (potential) move involving Bobby Ryan.

Ducks name Kesler alternate captain

Ryan Kesler
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For the second time in his career, Ryan Kesler is wearing an “A.”

On Thursday, the Anaheim Ducks announced that Kesler would serve as one of the club’s alternate captains this season, taking over for Francois Beauchemin, who signed in Colorado this summer.

With the move, Kesler joins Anaheim’s existing leadership group of captain Ryan Getzlaf, and alternate Corey Perry.

“It’s an honor,” Kesler said, per the Ducks. “It’s special. I’m going to wear it with pride and lead by example.”

As mentioned earlier, Kesler has some experience as an alternate — he wore an “A” in Vancouver from 2008-13, but had it removed prior to the start of the ’13-14 campaign.

It’s not surprising Anaheim went in this direction. GM Bob Murray made a huge investment in Kesler this summer by inking the 31-year-old to a six-year, $41.25M extension.

Diaz could leave Rangers for Europe

Raphael Diaz, Mike Sislo
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Could Raphael Diaz be on his way back to Switzerland?

We’ll know in a month.

Diaz, who lost out on the Rangers’ final blueline spot in training camp, has reported to the club’s AHL affiliate in Hartford but doesn’t seem pleased with his current situation, per the Post:

The 29-year-old Diaz, who cleared waivers last Saturday after the Blueshirts opted to keep rookie Dylan McIlrath as the club’s seventh on the blue line, is interested in the European option if he is not in the NHL.

The Blueshirts have told Diaz they will revisit the situation at the end of October, but have not promised to release him or assign him to a European team at that point.

If Diaz, a Swiss native who represented Switzerland in the 2014 Olympics, does play in Europe during the season, he would have to go through waivers in order to return to the NHL.

Diaz’s agent, Ritch Winter, told the Post that Diaz signed a one-year, $700,000 deal with the Rangers “to play with the Rangers.”

And it’s understandable if Diaz — a journeyman offensive defenseman — isn’t happy with this situation.

While some believe McIlrath earned his roster spot on merit, some think it’s because of his contract status. McIlrath, who’s only 23 and a former first-round pick, would’ve needed to clear waivers to go back to Hartford, and it’s believed he would’ve been claimed by another club.