What a week it was for the Pembroke Lumber Kings brand! At all levels of hockey, Lumber Kings alumni were at the centre of some of the sports’ biggest events and news stories.
None of these moments were bigger than Shawn Allard’s ear-to-ear smile as he gripped the Stanley Cup and held it high over his head in Tampa Bay where the Colorado Avalanche won the NHL championship in six games over the Lightning. Allard will have his name engraved on Lord Stanley’s celebrated mug as the team’s skills coach.
Allard grew up in Petawawa, eventually graduating to play parts of three seasons with the Lumber Kings. His biggest season was in 1992-93 when he scored 29 goals and had 66 points in 57 games with the Kings. That led to college hockey in the United States and a stint playing in Europe before he retired and founded Perfect Skating, a skills development school for young hockey players.
Allard gain prominence with NHL players when several Nashville Predators hired him during the NHL’s 2012-13 lockout to help them further develop their skating skills. Four years ago he joined the Avs as their skills coach and now he is a Stanley Cup Champion.
A few days after Allard had his moment in the NHL spotlight, two former Lumber Kings landed in NHL head coaching jobs. Luke Richardson was announced as the new head coach of the Chicago Black Hawks and Jim Montgomery got his second chance to lead an NHL bench when he was hired by the Boston Bruins.
Montgomery was a star in his one season in Pembroke. He helped the Kings win their sixth league championship in eight years in the 1988-89 campaign when he put together a 154-point season that included 53 goals in 50 games. Montgomery then went on to a successful collegiate career and suited up for 122 NHL games. After a great run coaching college hockey he was hired by the Dallas Stars as their head coach but was let go by the team in his second season.
Richardson’s career with the Lumber Kings amounts to a cup of coffee, partly because at the time Kings head coach Jim Farelli couldn’t offer the big defenceman a lot of ice time.
Farelli built his teams around veteran players and Richardson was only 16 years old when he suited up for six games with the Kings in the 1984-85 season. The following season, Richardson joined the Peterborough Petes of the Ontario Hockey League, a stepping stone to a long NHL career that has now brought him to his first head coaching job in the top hockey league in the world.
Mason McTavish is just getting his NHL career started as last year’s third overall draft pick by the Anaheim Ducks, but he is wrapping up his junior career in style. McTavish will play for Canada at the World Junior Hockey Championships in Alberta in August after helping the Hamilton Bull Dogs win an OHL championship and just missing a Memorial Cup national title. The Bull Dogs fell 6-3 to the Saint John Sea Dogs in the final, preventing McTavish from putting a bow on his OHL career.
Like Richardson, McTavish played limited games for the Kings because of a Junior A restriction that limited him because of his age. As a 15-year old call-up, McTavish recorded 7 points in 5 games with the Kings during the 2018-19 season, the same year he tore up the U-18 league leading his Pembroke team to a U-18 league title. He’s expected to stick with the Ducks this coming season after wearing a Canadian jersey at the Winter Olympics and having so much success at the major junior level.
Trent Mann, who backstopped the Lumber Kings for two seasons in the 1990’s also got in on a week of celebratory news for the Kings. The long team leading scout for the Ottawa Senators was promoted to the role of assistant general manager just before the club prepared for the annual amateur hockey draft.
If that wasn’t enough, current U-18 Lumber Kings coach and former Ottawa Senators star Daniel Alfredsson learned he was going to the Hockey Hall of Fame. In his fifth year of eligibility, the 49-year old Alfredsson got the call that all hockey players dream of, recognizing the 1,157 points he recorded in 1,246 NHL games, most of those points collected as captain of the Ottawa Senators.
What a week it was for the Lumber Kings franchise. Former Lumber Kings were everywhere!