NHL import Allen first to sign
by Matt Johnson

Ex-Florida Panthers defenceman Chris Allen has become the first Barons signing of the close season after his contract expired with the Peterborough Phantoms.

Darren Bellerby has acted swiftly to bring in the former NHL and AHL colossus to add experience to his young squad ahead of the new 2012-13 National Ice Hockey League (nee ENL) campaign.

Long term friend of the Barons, Chris Allen has put pen to paper with the Hobs Moat side. Here he presents former Solihull captain Rob Eley with a man of the match award.

Allen has signed on a player/coach basis and will be assisting the Barons coaching staff at both first team and junior level as Solihull look to bounce back to Division One and build for future success.

The Canadian began his career in the OHL with home-county club Kingston Frontenacs before being selected by the Carolina Monarchs to play in their 1996-97 AHL season.

After one season with the Monarchs, Chris moved back with the Frontenacs before his big break came with a call up to the NHL and the Florida Panthers. He was on the Panthers NHL roster for two seasons before moving on to have AHL, UHL and ECHL spells with Beast of New Haven, Louisville Panthers, Port Huron Border Cats, B.C Icemen, Greensboro Generals, Mississippi Sea Wolves and South Carolina Stingrays.

Allen was presented with a new challenge in the form of a move to European hockey in 2004 and has since played for six teams in six countries including Finland, Norway and Sweden before his move to Britain in 2009.

He made 18 appearances in the Elite League for the Edinburgh Capitals before signing for the Coventry Blaze where he played on ten occasions in 2009-10. A brief stint back in the US followed with spells at Utah Grizzlies and Bakersfield Condors but Allen returned to the UK last season to play in Peterborough before his long winding journey brought him to Solihull.

Chris is currently looking for sponsorship for the upcoming season. If you are interested then please contact the club via email at solihullbarons@gmail.com

Chris comes to the Barons with a mass of experience from teams around the world including a spell with the NHL's Florida Panthers.

Photography courtesy Keith & Jenny Davies