Dale: Hunter, Farmer, Hockey Coach

DC Sports Nexus ---- Tuesday, November 29, 2011


Dale Hunter has been coaching the London Knights Junior Hockey team for 10 seasons in the Ontario Hockey League (OHL). Now of course when I heard this I was stunned to discover that London had hockey. However after 1 full day of thinking the coach was moving here from the UK, I have discovered that London is not just a city in England, it is in fact also a place in Ontario, Canada. Phew! I thought the Caps were about to start having Tea Time.


Another thing about Dale Hunter that is somewhat strange is that he is also a farmer. In the press conference it was referenced that Dale is good at hockey and farming. Again I made a false assumption thinking that Hunter was a farmer waking up at the crack of dawn with a pitchfork. While Ovi was stumbling in to bed, Dale was going to be just waking up.

It turns out however that Dale is an ONLINE farmer and an avid Farmville player. He is even up on the leaderboard's for most # of chickens on Facebook. Wait, what...this just in...I made that up. He is an actual farmer. Soy beans and the like... Waiting for the farming analogies about "growing success" to headline stories...


If you are a good hockey coach you are a good hockey coach. That is part of the thinking behind bringing a junior coach straight up to the NHL. Bruce Boudreau jumped right in to the NHL with no prior experience leading the team to the playoffs in every season he coached. The Caps are looking for similar success from Hunter, although the jump from Juniors is a little different from the AHL leap. So there had to be another force that explains this jump...

The other force is that Dale Hunter was one of the best players in Washington Capitals history, and after he retired he has been following the Caps for years. He is a Capital at heart, and he loves this team. That is why he is the Caps coach at this very moment.

Coaching Style:

I thought Bruce Boudreau looked like a nice guy, but he was apparently quite foul mouthed and angry. This new guy is supposed to be even meaner and tougher, so I don't know how that is an upgrade. Plus Hunter was talking about more dump & chase. MORE? FO REAL!? GRRRRR!

Hopefully the coaching change will re-motivate the players. Nothing else was doing the trick. From hearing people talk it doesn't seem like Hunter's system is much different from Boudreau's though. It just seems like a more diciplined and grinding version. So it will be interesting to see how this coaching change works.

I think the Caps need a Mike D'Antoni Phoneix Suns style offense. Score more than the other team. With our goaltending and offensive minded defenders the Caps are going to have to score to win games. That style of play also fits the best player Alex Ovechkin. I guess that style hasn't taken them far in the playoffs, but it sure would be more fun to watch.

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