We welcome the opportunity to congratulate Dale Dunbar on his new position as the manager of the Larsen Rink at the Mike Eruzione Center on Pauline Street. Town Manager James McKenna announced the appointment at Tuesday night’s Council meeting, in essence signaling a new era for the rink which is truly one of the town’s treasures. We’re also pleased that long-time rink employee Mark Wallace will continue to have a key role at the rink.
There can be no doubt that Dale Dunbar and any aspect of hockey is a perfect match. Dunbar was an outstanding player at Winthrop High, went on to play for Division 1 Boston University, and then continued to excel in the pro ranks and ultimately saw action in the National Hockey League where he was a teammate of Cam Neely.
But beyond his glory-filled playing days, Dunbar has become a much-respected coach and mentor to young players. Dale is frequently called upon in an advisory role such as his association with Salisbury School graduate Mark Hamilton, who was the recipient of a scholarship to play for Division 1 UMass/Amherst.
Dunbar has also maintained a high level of excellence for the WHS program as the Viking head coach, winning conference championships and coming within striking distance of bringing the town its first state championship since the undefeated 1976 squad.
Dunbar understands the importance of having a fully-functioning, maximum-use rink in the town and the potential source of additional revenue the rink could bring to the town. McKenna stated that the rink will add a permanent concession stand and there will be other improvements that will give Dunbar the opportunity to create more programs and clinics at the facility. Knowing Dale’s incredible connections in the professional and collegiate ice hockey community, it wouldn’t surprise us that we’ll be seeing top players coming to the rink to provide clinics and instruction and to participate in skate-arounds with our local youths.
We’re looking forward to seeing the creative uses that Dunbar can maximize at the rink — and having a close friend and associate like Olympic captain Mike Eruzione, a fellow Boston University alumnus to call upon — we’d put that 1-2 punch up against any combination in the country.