- Israel hits symbols of Hamas rule; scores killed
- Mississippi abortion law can’t be enforced
- Teacher who survived Sandy Hook has book deal
- Jury awards Jesse Ventura $1.8M in case vs. ‘American Sniper’ author Chris Kyle
- Middle Eastern firm’s deal to manage U.S. cargo port raises security concerns
- Bob McDonnell’s defense: Lonely wife developed ‘crush’ on CEO
- Chinese hackers stole ‘huge quantities’ of sensitive data on Israel’s Iron Dome
- House Republicans unveil bill to speed deportations of border children
- Californians protest middle school for hiring white man to teach cultural studies
- Killer’s sentencing overturned because mother couldn’t find seat in courtroom
Dale Hunter back behind the bench with the London Knights
Question of the Day
As Dale Hunter left his post as Washington Capitals coach, one thing was clear: He was going home, back to London, Ontario, and the Knights, the Ontario Hockey League team he co-owns along with his brother Mark.
And to slide totally back into his comfort zone, the final step was for Dale Hunter to return as Knights coach, something that became official Tuesday.
Dick Hunter, the patriarch of the family, said his sons had a good thing going in London, and now it'll be back to that starting next season.
"Certainly Dale's passion is coaching," Knights goaltending coach Bill Dark said in a phone interview Wednesday. "The organization [has] run so smoothly and efficiently over the years with the way it's been with Dale coaching and Mark as the general manager."
Dale Hunter spent parts of 11 seasons behind the bench in London before his foray into NHL coaching with the Caps. He captured the Memorial Cup in 2005 and has 451 wins at the OHL level.
When Dale left to try his hand in Washington, Mark led the Knights on a surprising run to the Memorial Cup final.
"Those were not some easy shoes that he had to fill stepping in," Dark said. "He took over a team that was flying high at the time when Dale left. We kind of always thought we were maybe overachieving. There was always the possibility for the team to go down a little bit, but Mark came in, and I can't say enough about what a fantastic job Mark did handling coaching the team."
Because of that, Dale Hunter seemed to leave open the possibility of switching roles with his brother moving forward.
"It's a family business," Hunter said last month. "My dad's 76, and he still scouts for us. He did a great job there. Whatever if I'm looking for players next year, finding new players for the Knights next year, I'll do anything what's best for the family business."
While cultivating that family business, the Hunters also made winning a regularity. Dale became the fastest coach to 300 wins in OHL history, doing so in 460 games, then the fastest to 400 wins, reaching the milestone in 599.
He could build on that total significantly next season, as the Knights will be more experienced and stronger up front with the likes of Max Domi and Bo Horvat being a year older.
"You don't know how the cards are going to fall in place," Dark said. "Obviously, things have to fall in place to win a league championship. There aren't any guarantees on that. We'll be a real good club again."
In the short term, Hunter will be at the Caps' NHL draft table this weekend and should be able to aid in evaluating players.
"Dale obviously has been coaching in the Ontario League for a long time and has got a good knowledge of a lot of those players," director of amateur scouting Ross Mahoney said Wednesday. "It's always nice to have someone who also has a perspective on a lot of those young players either coaching them or he's been scouting them for London. We try to tap into resources that we have to be able to help us do even better."
NOTE: Caps assistant Dean Evason was named head coach of the Milwaukee Admirals, the Nashville Predators' American Hockey League affiliate. Evason spent seven years on staff in Washington, working under Glen Hanlon, Bruce Boudreau and Hunter.
© Copyright 2014 The Washington Times, LLC. Click here for reprint permission.
About the Author
- WHYNO: Tomas Vokoun gets unexpected Stanley Cup shot with Penguins
- Brandon Meriweather, Redskins' secondary ready for bounceback year
- Kirk Cousins embraces role as Redskins' offseason starter as RG3 rehabs from injury
- Capitals notes: Realignment won't prompt roster remake
- Despite Caps' first-round playoff exit, Adam Oates' first season as coach left a positive taste
Latest Blog Entries
- Redskins injury updates (5/23): WR Pierre Garcon, CB Josh Wilson each had labrum surgery
- Capitals 'love' Matt Hendricks, but how much?
- Wojtek Wolski signs in Russia's Kontinental Hockey League
- Tom Poti won't return to Capitals, plans to continue his NHL career
- Is Tom Wilson ready to be a regular for Capitals?
- Boehner rules out impeachment: 'Scam started by Democrats'
- Obama thanks Muslims for 'building the very fabric of our nation'
- Obama's brother wears Hamas scarf bearing anti-Israel slogans in photo
- Tactical advantage: Russian military shows off impressive new gear
- Federal judge grants 90-day stay in D.C. gun case
- McCLAUGHRY: Finish off the "Islamic State" quickly and cheaply
- New York Times reporter Carol Vogel accused of plagiarism
- Iraqi Christians rally at White House: 'Obama, Obama, where are you?'
- Hillary Clinton: Forget Obama, George W. Bush made her 'proud to be an American'
- ISIL destroys key bridge leading to Baghdad; suicide truck bomb severed supply line
Obama's biggest White House 'fails'
Celebrities turned politicians
Athletes turned actors
20 gadgets that changed the world