The Nottingham Lions are delighted to announce the capture of veteran Canadian defenseman Chris Allen for their inaugural 2013/14 NIHL Laidler Conference season.
The signing of the 35 year-old journeyman is a massive coup for the Lions, being the first ever player with NHL experience to join the club.
Allen was drafted in the 3rd round, 60th overall by the Florida Panthers in the 1996 NHL Entry Draft and played two games for the Miami-based giants but Chris really made his name icing with the Kingston Frontenacs of the OHL, where he picked up the Defenceman Of The Year award in 1997/98 and also found himself tied for second all time in OHL goals for a defenceman alongside NHL legends Bobby Orr and Al McInnis, scoring 38 goals in 66 games.
Sadly an injury sidetracked Chris’ NHL ambitions, although he still went on to have a long and successful career playing in the UHL, AHL and ECHL as well as spells abroad in Finland, Norway, Denmark, Hungary, Italy and Korea.
Chris’ travels finally bought him to the EPL where he played for Telford Tigers and Peterborough Phantoms before signing up to Lions’ Midlands rivals Solihull Barons last season, where he finished as the top point scoring defenceman in the league and ninth overall, claiming 12 goals and 24 assists from 20 games.
The big-scoring Canadian’s full career record can be viewed by clicking here.
Speaking to nottinghamlions.co.uk, Head Coach Matt Bradbury was clearly thrilled to have such a big-name joining the pride, saying;
“Chris’s signing has already created such a buzz around the dressing room with the younger and older players – They will have never sampled anything like this before and it will take a little time for them to adjust but this is all part of their learning and there will be no one better than someone like Chris to support them along the way.”
“He’s played hockey at the highest level and still has a passion for the game, lives in the Midlands area and is settled with a young family and he wants to play hockey!”
“The fans will be in for an absolute treat to see Chris take to the ice at the National Ice Centre – His passing is pinpoint and he has a rocket of a shot (once recorded at 103mph!!) - September can’t come soon enough!”
Ontario-born Allen also spoke to nottinghamlions.co.uk and explained why he’ll be icing at the NIC this coming season, adding;
“From what I saw last season the Lions look to have everything together, they have a very good core in the dressing room and throughout the staff. – You can always tell which teams are professional and the Lions are, they won the league championship for a reason.”
“I’m very excited to be joining as I feel they will be a contender to win another league title – I missed out with the Barons by only a few wins last season and it was very frustrating – I felt the leagues top four teams were very close and everyone had a chance until the last month or so – I feel it will be a repeat this year with the current talent in the league.”
Keep checking back at nottinghamlions.co.uk for more exciting signing news in the coming days as the new season rapidly approaches.