Slow day for Senators news?
In one of those “Holy shit! Whatever the hell happened to that guy?” moments, the St. Louis Blues announced today that Dave ‘Sparky’ Allison has been named as the new head coach of their AHL affiliate Peoria Blues. Apparently, he is currently fulfilling his amateur scouting obligations with the Pittsburgh Penguins and will continue to help that organization prepare for the upcoming amateur draft. As such, he will remain with the Penguins organization until June 30th.
Allison, if you’ll remember, was an interim head coach for the Senators during a portion of their 1995/96 season before the organization transitioned to Jacques Martin. After Rick Bowness led the team to a 6-13-0 record after the team’s first 19 games, Allison was brought in to stem the tide. Unfortunately for him, things did not improve. In fact, they got worse. In the 25 games that they played with Sparky at the helm, the on-ice product suffered with the team going 2-22-1 (.200) during that stretch. (Note: I believe this was the second worst stretch of hockey in Senators history. It was only outmatched by Ottawa’s 1-23-1 record in the 25 games that followed their inaugural game 5-3 versus the .)
Per the Blues’ media release:
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 then-Dallas Stars, and current St. Louis Blues, general manager Doug Armstrong.
Here’s to this minor footnote in Senators history.