Defenceman Keith Allen was 30 years old when he hit the NHL in 1954. He played 10 games for the Detroit Red Wings in the regular season, five more games in the playoffs and won the Stanley Cup on a team that included Saskatoon's Gordie Howe and Tony Leswick. Allen kept coming back for more.
Allen was the first ever coach of the Philadelphia Flyers when they joined the NHL in 1967-68. Two years later, he was promoted to be the Flyers' general manager.
In 1974, the Flyers became the NHL's first expansion team to win the Stanley Cup. They successfully defended their title in 1975. Saskatoon's Orest Kindrachuk and Ed Van Impe were on the team. During Allen's time as GM, the Flyers won the Stanley Cup twice, reached the final four other times and had a winning percentage of .612. With the acquisition of players such as Bernie Parent, Bobby Clarke, Bill Barber, Rick MacLeish, Reggie Leach, Mark Howe and Pelle Lindbergh, Allen earned the nickname Keith the Thief.
In 1992, Allen was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame in the Builders category. He was named The Hockey News' NHL Executive of the Year in 1980; was the recipient of the Lester Patrick Trophy in 1988 for outstanding service to hockey in the United States; and was inducted into the Flyers Hall of Fame in 1989.
Allen continued as the Flyers' GM until 1993, then became the executive vice-president, serving with the team through 2014.
Prior to joining the NHL, Allen spent 10 years as a coach, GM, bookkeeper and publicist for the Seattle Totems, a team in the minor pro Western Hockey League. Seattle reached the final three times and won the league title once.