Former University of Maine defenseman and assistant captain Jeff Dimmen is going to be reunited with his former St. Louis Bandits (North American Hockey League) coach next season.
Dimmen signed a one-year contract with the Norfolk Admirals of the American Hockey League and will play for Jon Cooper, who coached him during the 2006-2007 season in St. Louis.
Dimmen had 27 goals and 40 assists during his 135-game Black Bear career and signed an amateur tryout contract with the AHL’s Portland Pirates this season after the Bears were eliminated by Merrimack College in the Hockey East quarterfinals.
He had an assist in seven regular season games with the Pirates and played in seven playoff games without a point.
“I’m pretty happy to be reunited with Jon Cooper,” said Dimmen who added that he was also pleased with the terms of the contract which will pay him approximately $50,000 per year.
Dimmen, an All-Hockey East second team defenseman two years ago, said he learned about the pro game in his time with the Pirates.
“It’s a lot more of a positional game up there. You have to use your head a lot more,” said Dimmen. “Everybody is that much bigger, stronger, faster and smarter.
“If you make one mistake, the puck is definitely in the back of your net. I learned that the hard way a couple of times,” he added.
He said the first couple of games required an adjustment period but, after that, he thought he got “into the flow pretty well.
“I wasn’t just hanging on. I was contributing. I felt pretty good by the end of it,” he said.
Dimmen said the fact he was used in the playoffs “was a huge confidence builder.”
He said Pirates assistant and former Maine All-American Eric Weinrich was a “wealth of knowledge” and helped him a lot.
“I tried to pick his brain as much as I could,” said Dimmen.
Norfolk is affiliated with the Tampa Bay Lightning and Dimmen will report to the Lightning’s development camp next week.