Blues hire Allison for Peoria

Peoria Rivermen general manager Kevin McDonald announced today that the St. Louis Blues have named Dave Allison as the head coach of the Rivermen. He becomes the 18th head coach in Rivermen franchise history.

Allison, 53, is currently serving as amateur scout with the Pittsburgh Penguins. He will continue to assist the Penguins in preparing for the upcoming NHL Entry Draft and will remain with the team until June 30.

“With the track record Dave has with developing young players as well as his commitment and passion to the sport, we know we have found the right fit for Peoria,” said McDonald. “We are extremely excited to welcome Dave to the Rivermen family.”

Allison is a veteran of 18 years as a head coach and has spent the majority of his career in developmental leagues (AHL, ECHL, IHL, OHL). He also had a 25-game stint as the interim head coach of the NHL’s Ottawa Senators during the 1995-96 season.

He has an outstanding record of developing prospects into NHL players including Brett Lindros, Chris Gratton, Matt Greene, Loui Eriksson, James Neal, Mike Smith, current St. Louis Blue B.J. Crombeen and former Blue, the late Pavol Demitra.

Peoria will be Allison’s fourth head coaching stop in the AHL after Prince Edward Island (1994-96), Milwaukee (2001-02) and Iowa (2005-08). He also coached for Milwaukee (2000-01) and Grand Rapids (1996-98) while they were members of the IHL. During his time with the Iowa Stars, he worked under current St. Louis Blues general manager Doug Armstrong.

“I am excited for the opportunity to join Peoria and coach these young men who are the future of the St. Louis Blues,” said Allison. “To work again with Doug [Armstrong] and the quality people associated with the St Louis Blues organization is humbling and exciting for both myself and my family, and a responsibility I embrace and am grateful for.”

In 423 games as an AHL head coach, the Fort Frances, Ont., native has compiled a record of 199-193-31. He has coached in nearly 800 professional games and over 900 total since his coaching career began in 1989.

Prior to joining the Pittsburgh scouting staff, he worked as a part of the player development team with the Colorado Avalanche.

As a player, Allison enjoyed a 10-year professional career in the AHL, IHL and NHL. The defenseman was signed by the Montreal Canadiens as a free agent in 1979. He spent eight seasons in the AHL with the Nova Scotia Voyageurs, Sherbrooke Canadiens, Nova Scotia Oilers, Newmarket Saints and Halifax Citadels, and played three NHL games with the Canadiens during the 1983-84 season.