Dave Allison Aboard In Peoria
For the past seven seasons, the Peoria Rivermen have just not been able to get to the job done. In that timeline, the Rivs made the playoffs three times (twice being swept by the Houston Aeros during the 2005-06 and 2010-11 playoffs and one time were they made it to a game seven with Houston but eventually fell during the 2008-09 playoffs). This year, again, was a disappointing season for the Rivs as they finished 42-30-3 and did not qualify for the playoffs for the fourth time in those seven seasons. To make matters even worse, head coach Jared Bednar was not resigned as the Rivs coach for the 2012-13 season.
“I want to thank Jared for his dedication and passion for our organization and the game of hockey,” said Peoria GM Kevin McDonald. “He deserves tremendous credit for developing our young players over the past two seasons and we sincerely wish him the best in the future.” In his two seasons as coach, Bednar went 81-63-5-7 and made the Calder Cup Playoffs in his first season.
A day after his firing, McDonald announced that former Ottawa Senators head coach Dave Allison was hired to become the 18th Rivermen head coach in franchise history. “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, who is currently an amateur scout for the Pittsburgh Penguins and will remain with the club through the draft until the end of June. Allison has been 18 years as a coach, coaching in a variety leagues such as the AHL, NHL, OHL and the IHL. He briefly coached the Ottawa Senators during the 1995-96 season, where he went 2-22-1, which even though is a horrifying stat, Allison has had time to rebuild himself as a coach, learning from inside other organizations. "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.”
Allison played his junior career for the Cornwall Royals of the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League (QMJHL). He went undrafted by was signed as a free agent by the Montreal Canadiens in 1979. He went on to spend five seasons with Montreal’s AHL affiliate, the Nova Scotia Voyagers. He eventually went on to play for the AHL affiliates of Edmonton, Toronto and Quebec before calling it quits in 1989.
Dave Allison brings new hope and new goals to the Rivermen as he hopes to bring this team back to the Calder Cup playoffs. The Rivs and Captain Adam Cracknell hope that this season is just the begining of something golden….or silver. Congratulations to Coach Allsion and the best of luck to the Rivermen this upcoming season.