Philadelphia, PA (SportsNetwork.com) - Keith Allen, the Philadelphia Flyers'
longest continuously serving and most notable general manager, passed away on
Tuesday. He was 90 years old.
Allen, who spent the first two years with the expansion franchise as its head
coach, was moved into the front office in 1969 and remained GM through the end
of the 1982-83 season.
Through a series of shrewd trades and drafting which ended up molding the
club's only two Stanley Cup winners (1974-75) and teams which appeared in two
more Cup Finals (1976, 1980), Allen earned the nickname "Thief."
"Keith was the first coach in the history of the Philadelphia Flyers and a man
for whom I have tremendous respect," Flyers chairman Ed Snider said in a press
release. "In my mind, he was and always will be one of the greatest general
managers in the history of hockey. I never knew of a bad deal he made. This
team would never have reached the level of success we have had over the past
48 years if it were not for Keith."
A native of Saskatchewan, Allen spent almost two decades as a defensemen
playing in several leagues across North America. He spent 18 games over two
seasons with the Detroit Red Wings (1953-55), but hung up the skates for good
He then coached for almost a decade in the Western Hockey League of Canadian
junior hockey before his former coach and teammate, Bud Poile -- father of
current Nashville Predators GM David Poile -- hired him to coach
Philadelphia's new NHL entry.
Allen was elected to the Hockey Hall of Fame in the builder's category in
1992, joining Snider, who was enshrined four years earlier.
In addition to his efforts to mold the Flyers into a winner, Allen also was
instrumental in creating the Maine Mariners of the American Hockey League. The
franchise, which arrived in 1977, remains the only one in league annals to win
the Calder Cup in its first two seasons of operation.
The Sports Network