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Allan Bester
Allan Bester
Number: 35
Height: 5' 7"
Weight: 155
Catches: Left
Born: Mar 26, 1964
Birthplace: Hamilton, ON, Canada
Acquired: Traded to Detroit by Toronto for Detroit's sixth-round choice (Alexander Kuzminsky) in 1991 entry draft, March 5, 1991.
Drafted: TOR / 1983 NHL Entry Draft
Round: 3rd (48th overall)
Diminutive netminder Allan Bester spent parts of 11 seasons in the NHL. He made up for his lack of size with quick reflexes and self-assured attitude between the pipes.

The native of Hamilton, Ontario starred in the OHL with the Brantford Alexanders. After posting 29 wins and a 3.51 goals against average in 1982-83, he was chosen 49th overall by the Toronto Maple Leafs at the entry draft. He was also recognized by the OHL when he was named to the first all-star team. While he was still in junior, the youngster was summoned to the Leafs halfway through the 1983-84 season. He guarded the net admirably and, at times, spectacularly on the defensively horrid club. Bester's 11 wins and 4.35 goals-against mark were quite impressive considering the calibre of play in front of him.

Bester spent his second and third pro seasons mostly in the AHL working on the nuances of his game. He played more in 1986-87 and 1987-88 but was always supplanted by Ken Wregget in the post-season. Bester won 17 games for Toronto in 1989 and won 20 games the following year when the club reached the .500 mark for the first time in over a decade. By this time, Bester's penchant for allowing goals through his legs was giving him a bad name. The most glaring moment came in the crucial third game of the 1990 Norris Division semifinal when St. Louis forward Sergio Momesso put a long shot between Bester's legs during overtime.

During the 1990-91 season, Bester was traded to the Detroit Red Wings but was chiefly a farm hand with his new club. In 1992 he was sensational when he led the Adirondack Red Wings to the Calder Cup. Following this triumph he was presented the Jack Butterfield trophy as the most valuable player in the post-season.

Bester remained in the minors through the mid-1990s then made an unexpected return to the NHL with the Dallas Stars in 1995-96. Ravaged by injuries throughout their roster, the Stars signed the veteran netminder to a temporary contract. Bester looked solid in ten appearances before returning to the minors. He retired in 1998 after finishing his third season with the Orlando Solar Bears of the "I".

Courtesy of the Hockey Hall of Fame


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