When all was done Monday, Carolina Hurricanes general manager Jim Rutherford sat back and said, "We're real pleased with the way the day turned out."

And why not?

Eric Staal was at practice Monday and pronounced himself fit after it. The team captain missed Saturday's game against the Montreal Canadiens with a worrisome upper-body injury but said he planned to be in the lineup tonight against the Florida Panthers.

"I feel good," Staal said. "I should be good to go."

Rutherford was relieved about Staal, the Canes' All-Star center. He also was relieved a few hours later when Carolina obtained defenseman Bryan Allen from the Panthers in exchange for winger Sergei Samsonov - Carolina's only deal on the NHL's trade deadline.

The Hurricanes, who are fighting to stay in playoff position in the NHL's' Eastern Conference, placed defenseman Brett Carson on waivers Saturday with the intent of reassigning him to the Charlotte Checkers of the AHL. Instead, Carson was claimed Monday by the Calgary Flames, eating into the Canes' depth at the position.

But Rutherford was able to complete the Allen deal, bringing in a rugged 6-foot-5, 226-pound veteran with 500 games of NHL experience. Allen, 30, has one year remaining on a contract that will pay him $3.15 million next season.

"If we hadn't been able to add a defenseman later in the day, I'd be sitting here telling you that I would have been devastated about losing him," Rutherford said of Carson. "The fact we were able to complete what we set out to do, to add another defenseman, I'm OK with it."

Allen has averaged more than 19 minutes in ice time this season and has four goals and eight assists in 53 games. He had three assists in Florida's 7-4 win over the Canes on Nov. 5 and scored the overtime winner Jan. 3 as Florida took a 4-3 victory at the RBC Center.

"It's really weird when you sit down and think about it," Allen said Monday night of the trade. "I'm practicing with [the Panthers] one day and then will be playing against them the next day.