Jay Courtney spoke to former Steeler and Panther Scott Allison
Scott Allison was one of the most complete players ever to compete in the ISL era of British Ice Hockey. As we know Allison was instrumental factor in why the Sheffield Steelers were so successful, he was their ‘go to guy’, the player that would play hard, maybe drop the gloves if it was necessary or he’d get that goal when you needed it.
Most Panthers fans best remember Scott, for cross checking Barry Nieckar in the neck causing a mass brawl between the Panthers and Steelers where several players and coaching staff were ejected, causing Allison to be the Panthers number one enemy. However, a couple of seasons later Allison would cause uproar by moving from the Steelers to the Panthers! I’ve been lucky enough to ask Scott Allison about his time in British Hockey.
When you were a young boy, did you ever imagine you would play professional ice hockey?
Every day it was my goal to be a professional Ice Hockey player.
After 5 seasons in the Western Hockey League, you were selected 17th overall in the 1990 draft by the Edmonton Oilers, can you describe the feelings that you felt when heard your name being announced?
It was surreal for sure but a challenge as they had just won a cup
After a bruising time in the AHL and stints in the ECHL & IHL, why did you decide to try your luck in Britain?
Corey Beaulieu and I had played together and he called me and said it was great, also the lack of a language barrier allowed my wife to work which she wanted to do.
Were you surprised by the standard of British ice hockey?
Not really it was a step down at first but then the game improved over the next five years.
You moved to Germany with the Ausberg Panthers. How did you find your experience in Germany?
No problem I loved the experience so much
After half a season in Germany you returned to the Steel city, what brought you back to Sheffield?
Dave Simms just kept at me all the time, also they were building a great team. Great guy very convincing! He was a huge part of our success in Sheffield
One question I have to ask you is about the bench brawl, do you ever regret doing what you did to Barry Nieckar?
Regrets on the line brawl none at all. Barry and I are friends, we spoke about the brawl when I joined Nottingham, he knew why it happened and we consider it part of the game. I’m just glad no one was hurt.
In 2002 you caused a big shock, by moving to the Nottingham Panthers. Panthers had a tough team with Dody Wood, Briane Thompson, Barry Nieckar, Jason Clarke and yourself, What did you make of the toughness the Panthers had that season?
We were tough, really too much. I played with guys who could not score and killed way too many penalties, it was a complete over kill of tough guys, the team under achieved and it was a huge mistake going there on my part. One of my biggest regrets of my career when you look back on it. I was settled in Sheffield and we loved it, it was a contract move that did not work out. The people were great in Nottingham but I should have stayed put.
After a spending a season in Nottingham, you moved to Bracknell for the 2003/2004 season. How was that and what were differences between ISL hockey and BNL hockey?
The Bracknell experience was great as well. We had a terrific year, I played more and had so much fun, but I missed the big stage and that is why we headed home to play in North America
Do you miss the UK at all?
We do miss the UK and have been back to our friend Seth Bennett’s wedding and we caught up with some great friends and had a blast. We are home now and I am coaching at a university and running their hockey program. It is great here I have two young kids who are starting out and are both very good. So who knows maybe another Allison will be on the ice again in the future?
Finally, including yourself, pick 5 team mates for a starting line up?
Netminder: Mike O’Neil
Defence: Shane McCosh & Dennis Vial
Forwards: David Longstaff, Kevin Miehm & myself
The Cat’s Whiskers would like to thank Jay for conducting the interview and Scott Allison for his time