Dale Hunter knew he was going home to the London Knights when he announced he wasn’t returning as coach of the Washington Capitals. That was his comfort zone.
He’ll be right back in his comfortable spot behind the bench as Knights coach beginning in the fall as well, the team announced at a press conference Wednesday.
“I don’t think it’s a real big surprise that Dale returned,” goaltending coach Bill Dark said. “Certainly Dale’s passion is coaching. The organization is run so smoothly and efficiently over the years with the way it’s been with Dale coaching and Mark as the general manager.”
Last month Hunter left the door open for brother Mark to remain coach.
“It’s a family business, us. My dad’s 76 and he still scouts for us,” Dale Hunter said. “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.”
It’s a family business that didn’t miss a beat with Mark Hunter filling in for his brother, as the Knights won the Ontario Hockey League title and went to the Memorial Cup final.
“Mark has done a good job,” Dale Hunter said. “The coaching is there but I enjoy being a part of the organization, trying to find players, and it’s a family business and we all do what it takes.”
Mark Hunter will go back to his previous role as Knights general manager.
As far back as March many in London wouldn’t have been surprised by Hunter’s decision to return to the Knights after his foray into the NHL.
“All I can say is this: He’s an excellent teacher,” said Pete James, known as the Godfather of London sports. “And he’s taught an awful lot of kids how to play this game, obviously, to get them to where they are now.”