PHILADELPHIA — Keith Allen, the first coach of the Philadelphia Flyers who became the general manager that built the organization’s Stanley Cup championship teams of 1974 and 1975, died Tuesday. He was 90.
Mr. Allen joined the Flyers in 1966, before the franchise’s inaugural season. He was behind the bench for its inception in 1967 and won the West Division title that season. He coached the team through the 1969-70 season.
Mr. Allen became the general manager of the Flyers on Dec. 22, 1969, and held that position until May 27, 1983. During his tenure as GM, the Flyers won two Stanley Cups (1973-74 and 1974-75) and reached the NHL finals four times.
“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 release. “In my mind, he was and always will be one of the greatest general managers in the history of hockey. He was known as ‘Keith the Thief,’ 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.”
Mr. Allen was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame in 1992 in the Builders category. He was inducted into the Flyers Hall of Fame in 1989.
“Keith Allen always found a way to bring exceptional talent to Broad Street and weave it into the fabric of a team that would succeed and endure at the highest level, because in Philadelphia, for his Flyers and their fans, no other level was acceptable,” NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman said in a release.
Mr. Allen spent 13 years as a pro hockey player, including parts of two seasons with the Detroit Red Wings. He was a member of the Wings’ 1953-54 Stanley Cup championship team. AP