Ducks get free agents Souray, Allen, Staubitz
The Anaheim Ducks signed defenseman Sheldon Souray to a three-year, $11 million deal and agreed to terms with defenseman Bryan Allen on another three-year deal Sunday, significantly upgrading their spotty defense with two veteran free agents.
The Ducks also signed tough right wing Brad Staubitz to a two-year contract, easing the loss of longtime enforcer George Parros, and signed defenseman Jordan Hendry to a one-year deal.
Souray and Allen will fill major roles for the Ducks, who finished 13th in the Western Conference last season while allowing 231 goals despite a solid season by goalie Jonas Hiller. Souray is likely to be a staple on the Ducks' power play, while the stay-at-home Allen will fill a major defensive role.
"We attempted to get bigger and stronger on the back end, and I think we accomplished that," Anaheim general manager Bob Murray said. "We've added some character across the team. ... We've got a number of young defensemen on our team, and I don't feel we've supported them with enough size and oomph. I said in the middle of last year it wasn't going to happen again."
After spending the 2010-11 season with the AHL's Hershey Bears while locked in a bitter dispute with the Edmonton Oilers, the 35-year-old Souray revived his career last season with the Dallas Stars, getting six goals and 15 assists in 64 games. The three-time All-Star is joining his fifth team in 12 NHL seasons, and he's eager to make up for time lost to arguments and injuries.
The Ducks weren't scared away from the three-year commitment by Souray's history of injuries, including a concussion and multiple shoulder problems. Souray said he received other three-year offers, but chose the Ducks for their roster and their proximity to his family.
"I feel like I have a lot left in the tank," Souray said. "I really feel like my best hockey is ahead. I'm looking forward to coming in here and playing with these great players. There's a lot of enthusiasm and a hunger to get back. They had a pretty good end to the season."
With his booming slap shot and all-around toughness, Souray was one of the NHL's elite offensive defensemen during his time with the Montreal Canadiens. But after Souray asked to leave the Oilers, they banished him to the minors, waived him and eventually bought out the final year of his five-year, $27 million contract.
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