(Photo Credit: Hockey Hall of Fame | hhof.com)

By: Andrew Lindroth | Follow me on Twitter! @andrewlindrothh

Allen Pedersen was born on January 13th, 1965, in Fort Saskatchewan, Alberta, Canada. Pederson began playing juniors as an 18-year-old defenseman in the Western Hockey League (WHL) for the Medicine Tigers (WHL) from 1982-1985. Boston was impressed with the 6’3, 210-pounder early on and drafted him as the 102nd overall pick in the 1983 NHL Entry Draft. During those three campaigns in the WHL, he was a stone-cold shutdown defenseman and even racked up nine goals and 45 points with 170 PIM in 179 games.

After graduating from junior hockey, Pedersen was assigned to the American Hockey League to play for Boston’s minor-pro affiliate, the Moncton Golden Flames (AHL). He had a powerful performance that season, collecting nine points and 39 PIM in 59 appearances while shutting down some of the best forward lines in the AHL. The stay-at-home defenseman would eventually be rewarded for his efforts as he solidified his spot in the line-up for the Bruins the following season.

Pedersen began his tenure as a Boston Bruin during the 1986-1987 season, suiting up for 79 games and producing 12 points with a minus-15 rating and 71 PIM. Pedersen became more assertive in his zone throughout each year and had a knack for getting rid of the puck quickly in the defensive zone, which helped limit the top forward lines offensive zone time. Over the next two campaigns, the gritty defenseman appeared in 129 games and tallied 12 points with a plus-three rating and 159 PIM.

The 25-year-old went on to play for the Bruins over the next two seasons, from 1989-1991, racking up 11 points, plus-ten rating with a whopping 178 PIM in 125 contests. As the Bruins headed into the off-season in 1991, they had to make some tough decisions regarding protecting roster players from being exposed in the 1991 Expansion Draft for Minnesota Northstars. Unfortunately, Pedersen was left un-protected and was eventually claimed in the Expansion Draft on May 30th, 1991.

Pedersen was not part of Minnesota’s long term plans, as the defenseman struggled to stay healthy and was even deemed a healthy scratch at times before games. He was also sent down to the AHL and playing about a dozen games with the Maine Mariners (AHL). He only appeared in 29 games with Minnesota until they decided to cash-in on the 27-year-old and traded him on June 15th, 1992, to the Hartford Whalers in exchange for a sixth-round draft pick in the 1993 Entry Level Draft. He played well for Hartford his first season, notching a goal and five points with 60 PIM in 59 games. The following season, Pedersen struggled at the start of the season, appearing in only seven games before being sent back down to play for the Springfield Indians (AHL).

Pedersen was committed to continuing grinding away for one more opportunity at playing in the NHL, so he relocated to the International Hockey League (IHL) and signed with the Atlanta Knights. He appeared in 71 games, collecting five points and 61 PIM. After not receiving any offers from NHL teams, the aggressive stay-at-home defenseman officially retired from the Hockey world in 1995.

Throughout his eight-year tenure in the NHL, Pedersen recorded 5-36-41 numbers with 487 PIM in 428 career games. After retiring, he became the head coach of Pensacola Ice Pilots (ECHL) in 1996, coaching the team for four seasons, including playing in the Kelly Cup Final in 1998 but ended up losing the series. He coached one more year in the ECHL, this time with the Mississippi Sea Wolves (ECHL). After coaching in the ECHL for five years, Pedersen took his services to the WCHL and coached the Colorado Gold Kings (WCHL) for the 2001-2002 season. Pedersen retired from coaching in 2002. All of us at Black N’ Gold would like to wish Allen Pedersen a wonderful 56th birthday!