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ALLAN BESTER: A Former NHL Goaltender with Quick Reflexes!

When I was growing up, I had the privilege to watch several outstanding goaltenders playing in the NHL. Goaltenders, such as, Richard Brodeur; Grant Fuhr; Mike Vernon; Patrick Roy; Kelly Hrudey; etc… were goaltenders I wished to be like. Another NHL goaltender I remember watching and idolizing as a young aspiring elite-level goaltender was Toronto’s Allan Bester.

Allan Bester was a goaltender who I enjoyed watching and emulating due to his quick reflexes! Allan, a former goaltender student of Coach Vic LeMire, “minded the net” for the OHL’s Brantford Alexanders from 1981-1984 (OHL First All-Star Team: 1983). After three seasons with Brantford, he moved on to professional hockey. Allan was drafted by the Toronto Maple Leafs in the 3rd round of the 1983 NHL Entry Draft.

Beginning in the 1983–84 hockey season, Allan spent parts of eleven seasons in the NHL. Following his eight years in Toronto, he was traded to the Detroit Red Wings in 1991. Allan Bester spent most of his professional career moving between the NHL and AHL. In 1992, he won a Calder Cup with the Adirondack Red Wings. Allan was awarded the Jack A. Butterfield Trophy as playoff MVP.

In the mid-90’s, Allan made a short return to the NHL after a five year absence, playing ten games for the Dallas Stars. His hockey career ended in the IHL. He played with both the San Diego Gulls and Orlando Solar Bears before officially announcing his retirement in August 1998.

During the Summer of 2013, Allan Bester, a great friend of Bradford’s Goal Academy, offered his time to answer a few questions for BGA!

Three Questions for Allan Bester:

1) What do you think it takes to reach the NHL? Perseverance and hard work. You need to love to play the game.

2) Did you enjoy practicing growing up to reach the NHL? I always enjoyed stopping pucks. I would take it as a challenge. I never wanted to allow a goal even in practice.

3) What is your most memorable experience in the NHL? Winning the last game of the season to beat Detroit and make the playoffs. I had been injured and hadn’t played in over month. We needed to win the last game of the season to make the playoffs. I started the game on the bench, but was put in when we were down 3-0 after 10 minutes. We went on to win 5-3, and I stopped 3 breakaways and was selected 1st Star. There was also my first taste of NHL action when I replaced Rick St. Croix for the 3rd period when I was 19 years old … then playing 25 games in a row as a 19 year old.

Allan BesterIf you have any questions for Allan, I would be glad to forward them on to him. Feel free to add to this blog with your questions for former NHL goaltender, Allan Bester!

Thanks Allan! Thank you for your time Allan! It is hoped this blog continues to grow with some of your insights toward elite-level goaltending, professional hockey, and any other pertinent information BGA’s goaltenders can benefit from … en route to reaching success in hockey, in school and in life!


  1. Comment by Coach Vic

    You could just tell when a young Goaltender has something “Special”under those pads!!! It was on the 5th floor of a downtown Toronto office building one summer day when an invitation went out to all young Toronto area Goaltenders to attend the unveiling of my new invention … “The Computer Reflex Tunnel.” Computers had just arrived on the market and I converted one to be used to measure the actual Reflex Responses of any Goaltender. A 24ft long Black plexiglass “tunnel” designed with special sequential lights within (simulating the traveling pucks) and loaded with an “infra red light system” which would strike various target receptors mounted in the goal net.

    The Computer Reflex Tunnel would simulate a puck traveling at various speeds along the inside of the tunnel and the Goaltenders (standing on a crease on synthetic ice) would react at the “shots” breaking the light beams and stopping the reaction timer.

    After recording over 200 test Goaltenders, a young athletic looking Goaltender, named Allan Bester, arrived and went through a rigorous performance completely shattering every single recorded reflex time of all other Goaltenders who tried “The Tunnel!”

    Was Allan Bester FAST … NO… he had “SUPERSONIC SPEED” … and we now know how those special reflexes rewarded him all the way into the NHL! Allan Bester and I went on to become great friends as he attended my Goalie Schools in the summers.

    I saw the extra hard efforts Allan Bester produced every time his skates hit the ice. He truly sacrificed his early years to develop into the PRO Athlete he is.

    Thanks Allan for showing ME what it really takes to become an ELITE Goaltender!

    Coach Vic

  2. Comment by Elle

    Where did Allan bester went after his career ended.

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