A career minor-leaguer, Keith Allen managed to play with Detroit during the team's best years, winning the Stanley Cup in 1954. The following season, he became playing coach of the Brandon Regals in the WHL, his league of choice for the next decade. When the Philadelphia Flyers were granted one of the coveted six expansion teams for 1967, Allen was named their coach and two and a half years later their general manager. He helped build the violent, controversial, but ultimately successful Broad Street Bullies.
Along the way, Allen helped establish the Maine Mariners in the AHL, one of the more successful teams in hockey's minor pro leagues during the '70s. He was awarded the Lester Patrick Award for contribution to hockey in the United States. Allen began playing junior in 1940, but in 1943 he enlisted in the Canadian Navy where he was stationed aboard the corvette Nanaimo for more than two years. After some seven seasons in the AHL, he was called up to Detroit when the Wings had a rash of injuries, sometimes playing defense with Gordie Howe en route to the Stanley Cup. A two-year career in the NHL nonetheless paved the way for a lifelong involvement in the game that culminated with Allen's induction into the Hockey Hall of Fame as a Builder in 1992.