Well-known Cowichan Valley hockey coach and former NHL player Dale Purinton was arrested in New York state last week and charged with first-degree burglary after the alleged assault of a man in the village of Sylvan Beach.
According to Oneida County Sheriff Robert Maciol, an investigation into the incident “indicated that Purinton broke into a residence and caused physical injury to the sole occupant in the residence” on Aug. 12. He fled the scene and the victim was taken to hospital in nearby Utica. The 38-year-old Purinton was arrested last Wednesday and remanded to jail in lieu of $25,000 cash bail or a $50,000 bond. He posted bail and was released on Friday and is “due back in court in a later date.”
Purinton had been the head coach of the junior B Kerry Park Islanders since 2012. He was released from that position last Thursday, with the team in the middle of training camp. Assistant coach Aaron Spotts was promoted to the top job.
The decision to let go of Purinton wasn’t one that Osmond took lightly.
“It’s unfortunate,” he said. “I’ve known Dale for more than three years. For that to happen is shocking and devastating at the same time.”
Osmond called Purinton a “down-to-earth, pleasant guy.”
Purinton coached the junior A Cowichan Valley Capitals from October 2009 until the end of the 2011/12 season, working as co-coach with Jim Ingram for his last year. He was hired to coach the Islanders when Osmond bought the team in late 2012, and had worked for a long time with some of the Kerry Park players.
“It’s shocking for the players, too,” Osmond said. “A lot of them are close to him. He mentors them. We’ve told them they can’t dwell on the newspapers and the reports. The whole story will come out eventually.”
Born in Fort Wayne, Indiana and raised in B.C., Purinton played 181 games for the NHL’s New York Rangers between 1999 and 2004, racking up 578 penalty minutes while scoring recording four goals and 16 assists. He played for the Victoria Salmon Kings of the ECHL during the 2004/05 NHL lockout, then played three more seasons in the American Hockey League before retiring from the pro ranks in 2008.