GLENS FALLS — When the Thunder picked Alex Loh as their new head coach last month, it was a decision to promote someone in-house, who was qualified for the position.
The club made a similar choice when it announced a new addition to its coaching staff on Thursday. Though the Thunder went with someone outside their team this time, Pete Dineen is far from a stranger.
The son of the late former Adirondack Red Wings coach Bill Dineen, Pete Dineen was introduced by Loh to a small group gathered in a second-floor suite at Bullpen Tavern.
Smiling large and happy to be home, Dineen said joining the Thunder is a perfect fit.
“In regards to the scouting, you are on the road on average 15 to 20 days a month,” said Dineen, a longtime former NHL scout. “I have a daughter turning 10 years old, so I missed a lot of soccer and softball games, so this is a great opportunity to spend more time with my family.”
Coaching is something Dineen has considered for years and he hopes to prove himself quickly.
“This is something that has always intrigued me to get involved in the coaching end. I’ve got brothers that are involved in coaching,” he said. “I’ve always said the best job in hockey is playing. But second is the coaching end, because you have a direct impact on the win and loss column.”
Dineen spent 25 years in scouting and held stints with the Minnesota North Stars, Philadelphia Flyers, Boston Bruins and Columbus Blue Jackets.
Prior to scouting, Dineen played 11 professional seasons in the AHL, IHL and NHL.
This is will not be Pete Dineen’s first act as an Adirondack coach. During the 1988-89 season, first-year head coach Barry Melrose was suspended for five games. Playing for the then-Red Wings, Pete Dineen served as an interim head coach because he was injured.
He went 4-1 and remembers the experience fondly.
“If I was going to get blamed for a bad story then I would’ve blamed it on one of my brothers,” Dineen said with a laugh about coaching the Red Wings. “But I’ll take credit for this one.
“Back then a lot of teams did not carry assistant coaches. So they threw me in there and I was coaching a lot of my buddies, guys I played with. A lot of them tried to get a little extra power play time in and whatnot but I enjoyed it.”
GLENS FALLS — When the Adirondack Thunder looked for their new head coach, they didn’t just look in-house. They grabbed one of the cornerstones.
His next coaching stint came in 1994 when he led the International Hockey League’s Houston Aeros, an expansion team. He was there through the 1995-96 season.
Thunder supporters who came to Bullpen Tavern to hear the announcement were thrilled to find out a hockey guy with such close ties to Glens Falls was coming home. Bill Dineen, who died in 2016, was a popular coach with the Red Wings and the street outside the Cool Insuring Arena was renamed in his honor.
“I’ve enjoyed scouting for a long time but the coaching thing has really inspired me,” said Pete Dineen, who has a home in Queensbury. “This is an entertaining and hard-working club and a lot of that can be attributed to the coaching staff.
“Coming to Glens Falls, I’ve got family here, of course. This is a wonderful community and I’m excited to be a part of this hockey club at this stage.”