By his own account, Mike Allison was a journeyman hockey player.
Next month, he’ll be on the move again—this time to take his place among this region’s all-time sporting greats.
The Fort Frances native and 11- year NHL veteran was at a loss for words after it was announced yesterday he is one of this year’s inductees into the Northwestern Ontario Sports Hall of Fame in Thunder Bay.
“I was shocked and surprised,” said Allison, who scored 102 goals and had 268 points in 499 games spent with the New York Rangers, Toronto Maple Leafs, and L.A.
“When they called and told me earlier this year that I was nominated, it was exciting to finally hear that it might be coming through,” he added. “I really don’t know what to say.”^After honing his skills in the local minor hockey program and playing an instrumental part in the Muskies’ success in the mid-1970s, Allison moved on to play junior hockey with the Kenora Thistles, New Westminster Bruins, and Sudbury Wolves.
Drafted by the Rangers in the second round of the 1980 NHL entry draft, Allison scored on his first shot of his first shift in the big league.
After retiring in 1990, he coached in the Ontario Hockey League and at Bemidji State University, and also served as a radio broadcaster for the Kings.
He later turned his attention to the instructional side of the game when he became co-director of the Kings’ youth hockey camp. That led to him setting up the A&A Hockey Camps here with his brother, Dave, in 1999.
Dave Allison, the current head coach of the Borderland Thunder, couldn’t have been happier for his sibling’s recognition.
“It’s a credit to his passion for the game and his perseverance to keep getting better,” he remarked. “I don’t know of too many other players who wanted to use every second and every opportunity to get better more than him.”^Mike Allison officially will be enshrined during the Hall of Fame’s 22nd-annual induction dinner Sept. 27 in Thunder Bay.