The Triple-A team of Anderson, Allison and Allen hasn’t been together long, but they’re more than a little familiar.
All three have coached against one another for years in the AHL’s Western Conference. Now, with Allison and Allen coming off one season together with the Peoria Rivermen, they’re combining efforts to help the Wolves get back to the Calder Cup finals. Although the partnership is new, the level of respect among the three runs deep.
“John’s teams were always really well structured. They always had really solid goaltending,” Allen said. “They had skill guys to put pucks in the net, they had the offensive defensemen, the stay-home defensemen. They were very good teams. At the end of the day, you know you had your hands full every night. You could never feel too good about yourself, even if you were up by a goal or two going into the third period. They always had the types of players who were capable of turning the game around at any moment.”
And while Allen and Allison head into this season with a different dynamic than they’re used to, and in a larger market, the move north has done little to take away from their overall goals.
“We all want the same thing, which is to maximize player potential and the potential of the team,” Allison said. “That’s what (Scott and I) did in Peoria and it’s what we will continue to do as we move from a duet into a three-spot. At the end of the day, they’re just titles; we all have the same agenda. You don’t want to be right, you want to find the right answer, regardless of the question. We all have ideas, but we all understand that John is going to have the final say and that, in a lot of ways, makes it easier for everyone.”
So long as he and his crew keep pulling in the same direction, Anderson is confident they can achieve everything they’ve set their minds to this season.
“I feel really good about this trio. Those guys are awesome,” he said. “With all of us collaborating, I know we can do some good things for this team.”