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|Born|| (1960-07-31) July 31, 1960
Petrolia, Ontario, Canada
|Height||5 ft 10 in (178 cm)|
|Weight||200 lb (91 kg; 14 st 4 lb)|
|Played for|| Quebec Nordiques
|NHL Draft|| 41st overall, 1979
Dale Robert Hunter (born July 31, 1960) is a Canadian former professional ice hockey player and the former head coach of the Washington Capitals of the National Hockey League and current co-owner, president, and head coach of the London Knights of the Ontario Hockey League. Hunter was born in Petrolia, Ontario, but grew up in Oil Springs, Ontario, and was one of three brothers, with Dave and Mark, to play in the NHL.
According to his former Quebec Nordiques coach Michel Bergeron, even though Hunter was nicknamed the "Nuisance" on ice (La Petite Peste in French), he was known to be "humble" in the dressing room and a sort of "gentleman", close to all the players. He was the "perfect player", always the first to arrive at practice and ready to do all his best for the team. Thanks to his charisma, Hunter was a fan favourite in both Quebec and Washington. His leaving Quebec was seen as an obvious "mistake" linked to the team's future decline.
In the 1988 Patrick Division Semifinals between the Capitals and Philadelphia Flyers, Hunter scored the biggest goal in Caps history. That goal was scored on a breakaway at 5:57, beating Ron Hextall and gave Washington the 5-4 win.
In the 1993 Patrick Division Semifinals between the Capitals and New York Islanders, Hunter led his team with seven postseason goals. That performance, however, was marred by an illegal and vicious check on Islanders' star Pierre Turgeon. This illegal check occurred after Turgeon had stolen an errant pass of Hunter's and subsequently scored. As Turgeon was celebrating, Hunter came up from behind and checked an unsuspecting Turgeon into the boards. As a result of the incident, Hunter was suspended for the first 21 games of the 1993–94 season as part of new commissioner Gary Bettman's effort to crack down on violent play.
He broke the 1,000 points barrier (and is the NHL record holder for requiring the most games to do so by a forward, at 1,308, as well having the most penalty minutes when reaching that scoring milestone). He played in the NHL All-Star game in 1997. He also served as team captain from 1994 to 1999.
In 1998, he led the fourth-seeded Capitals to their first appearance in the Stanley Cup Finals, defeating the Boston Bruins, Ottawa Senators, and Buffalo Sabres. In the finals, the Capitals were swept by the defending Cup champions, the Detroit Red Wings, with the first three games being decided by one goal.
Hunter finished off his career with the Colorado Avalanche, the successor to the Nordiques, and helped the team to reach the Western Conference finals, losing in seven games to the eventual Stanley Cup champion Dallas Stars. On that team, he often played on the same line as two other renowned pest role players -- Claude Lemieux and Theoren Fleury.
Hunter's sweater number (#32) was retired by the Capitals on March 11, 2000. During the ceremony, the Capitals presented Hunter with one of the penalty boxes from the Capital Centre (the Capitals former home arena), symbolic of his exceptional amount of time served for penalties.
In 2000, Hunter and his brother, Mark—also a former NHL player—teamed up with Dale's former teammate on the Nordiques, Basil McRae, to buy the London Knights of the Ontario Hockey League. Dale became team president and head coach. He led the Knights to the 2005 and 2016 Memorial Cup. On January 1, 2006, the Hunter brothers were named to the 2006 Mayor's New Year's Honours List for Sports by the City of London, Ontario. Hunter's older brother Dave Hunter is also a former NHLer. His son Dylan Hunter is an assistant coach for the Knights and his other son Tucker also played for the London Knights before pursuing his education at the University of Western Ontario.
On November 28, 2011, Hunter resigned his position as head coach of the Knights to take the same position with the Washington Capitals, succeeding Bruce Boudreau. His brother Mark then took over as Knights coach. Hunter's defense oriented system caused some conflict with star Alexander Ovechkin but it helped the struggling Capitals make the playoffs, where they upset the defending Stanley Cup champions Boston Bruins in the first round before being eliminated by the New York Rangers, both postseason series going to seven games. On May 14, 2012, Hunter announced he was not returning to coach the Capitals in the 2012-2013 season, choosing instead to return to the London Knights.
On May 14, 2019, Hockey Canada named Hunter as the Head Coach for Canada’s National Junior Team at the 2020 IIHF World Junior Championship. Hunter guided the team to the gold medal with a dramatic come-from-behind victory over Russia in the final game.
Accolades and controversy
Late in the deciding Game 6 of the 1993 Patrick Division Semifinals between the Capitals and New York Islanders, Pierre Turgeon stole the puck from Hunter and scored, putting the game out of reach. Hunter, who was trailing Turgeon on the play, checked Turgeon from behind well after the goal as he started to celebrate. Turgeon sustained a separated shoulder from the hit, causing him to miss all but Game 7 against the Pittsburgh Penguins in the second round, as well as most of the series against the Montreal Canadiens in the conference finals. New NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman, who had earlier promised to crack down on violence, suspended Hunter for the first 21 games of the 1993–94 season—at the time, the longest suspension in league history for an on-ice incident (in terms of games missed). Years later, Hunter admitted that he'd gone too far.
With amassing a staggering 3565 penalty minutes, Hunter currently has the second-most penalty minutes in NHL history, after Dave "Tiger" Williams (although Hunter played 1,407 games to Williams' 962). The Capitals retired his No. 32 jersey. Hunter is the only NHL player ever to score over 1,000 points and rack up over 3,000 penalty minutes (1,020 points and 3,565 PIMs over 1,407 NHL games).
He scored in overtime for Quebec in Game 5 of their 1982 opening round best-of-five series vs. the Montreal Canadiens, and in 1988 scoring against Ron Hextall on a breakaway in overtime for Washington in Game 7 of their opening round best-of-7 series vs. the Philadelphia Flyers, making Hunter the first player in NHL history to score two overtime series-clinching goals in the playoffs.
In July 2006, Hunter was arrested and charged with DUI. The charges were dropped when the presiding judge ruled that his rights under the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms were violated for unlawful detention and being denied his right to his lawyer.
In September 2005, Hunter was suspended by the Ontario Hockey League for four games after a player left the bench to initiate a fight in an exhibition game.
On January 20, 2006, Hunter was suspended for two games and his team was fined $5,000 for Hunter's off ice abuse of the officials. In May 2006, Hunter was fined $5,000 by the OHL for criticizing officials after the Knights were eliminated from the playoffs in four straight games. In September 2006, Hunter was suspended by the OHL for two games after forward Matt Davis left the bench to engage in a fight during a game; OHL rules state that there is an automatic suspension for both the player and the coach if a player leaves the bench to become involved in an altercation.
|Team||Year||Regular season||Post season|
|Washington Capitals||2011-12||60||30||23||7||(92)||2nd in Southeast||Won in conference quarter-finals (4-3 vs. BOS)
Lost in conference semi-finals (3-4 vs. NYR)
|NHL totals||60||30||23||7||67||7-7 (0.500)|
|Team||Year||Regular season||Post season|
|LDN||2001–02||68||24||27||10||7||65||5th in West||Won in conference quarter-finals (4-2 vs. PLY)
Lost in conference semi-finals (2-4 vs. ERI)
|LDN||2002–03||68||31||27||7||3||72||2nd in Midwest||Won in conference quarter-finals (4-3 vs. WSR)
Lost in conference semi-finals (3-4 vs. PLY)
|LDN||2003–04||68||53||11||2||2||110||1st in Midwest||Won in conference quarter-finals (4-0 vs. WSR)
Won in conference semi-finals (4-0 vs. ERI)
Lost in conference finals (3-4 vs. GUE)
|LDN||2004–05||68||59||7||2||0||120||1st in Midwest||Won in conference quarter-finals (4-0 vs. GUE)
Won in conference semi-finals (4-0 vs. WSR)
Won in conference finals (4-1 vs. KIT)
Won J. Ross Robertson Cup (4-1 vs. OTT)
Finished first in round-robin at Memorial Cup (3-0)
Won Memorial Cup (4-0 vs. RIM)
|LDN||2005–06||68||49||15||-||4||102||1st in Midwest||Won in conference quarter-finals (4-0 vs. SSM)
Won in conference semi-finals (4-2 vs. OS)
Won in conference finals (4-1 vs. GUE)
Lost in J. Ross Robertson Cup finals (0-4 vs. PBO)
|LDN||2006–07||68||50||14||-||4||104||1st in Midwest||Won in conference quarter-finals (4-0 vs. OS)
Won in conference semi-finals (4-3 vs. SSM)
Lost in conference finals (1-4 vs. PLY)
|LDN||2007–08||68||38||24||-||6||82||2nd in Midwest||Lost in conference quarter-finals (1-4 vs. GUE)|
|LDN||2008–09||68||49||16||-||3||101||1st in Midwest||Won in conference quarter-finals (4-1 vs. ERI)
Won in conference semi-finals (4-0 vs. SAG)
Lost in conference finals (1-4 vs. WSR)
|LDN||2009–10||68||49||16||-||3||101||1st in Midwest||Won in conference quarter-finals (4-1 vs. GUE)
Lost in conference semi-finals (3-4 vs. KIT)
|LDN||2010–11||68||34||29||-||5||73||5th in Midwest||Lost in conference quarter-finals (2-4 vs. OS)|
|LDN||2011–12||26||20||5||-||1||(99)||1st in Midwest||(left to take Capitals coaching job)|
|LDN||2012–13||68||50||13||-||5||105||1st in Midwest||Won in conference quarter-finals (4-0 vs. SAG)
Won in conference semi-finals (4-1 vs. KIT)
Won in conference finals (4-1 vs. PLY)
Won J. Ross Robertson Cup (4-3 vs. BAR)
Finished third in round-robin at Memorial Cup (1-2)
Won Memorial Cup tie-breaker game (6-1 vs. SAS)
Lost Memorial Cup semi-finals (1-2 vs. POR)
|LDN||2013–14||68||49||14||-||5||103||3rd in Midwest||Won in conference semi-finals (4-0 vs. WSR)
Lost in conference semi-finals (1-4 vs. GUE)
Finished fourth in round-robin at Memorial Cup (0-3)
|LDN||2014–15||68||40||24||-||4||84||3rd in Midwest||Won in conference quarter-finals (4-2 vs. KIT)
Lost in conference semi-finals (0-4 vs. ERI)
|LDN||2015–16||68||51||14||-||3||105||2nd in Midwest||Won in conference quarter-finals (4-2 vs. OS)
Won in conference semi-finals (4-0 vs. KIT)
Won in conference finals (4-0 vs. ERI)
Won J. Ross Robertson Cup (4-0 vs. NIA)
Finished first in round-robin at Memorial Cup (3-0)
Won Memorial Cup (3-2 vs. ROU)
|LDN||2016–17||68||46||15||-||7||99||3rd in Midwest||Won in conference quarter-finals (4-3 vs. WSR)
Lost in conference semi-finals (3-4 vs. ERI)
|LDN||2017–18||68||39||25||-||4||82||3rd in Midwest||Lost in conference quarter-finals (0-4 vs. OS)|
|LDN||2018–19||68||46||15||-||7||99||1st in Midwest||Won in conference quarter-finals (4-0 vs. WSR)
Lost in conference semi-finals (3-4 vs. GUE)
|LDN||2019–20||62||45||15||-||2||92||1st in Midwest||Post-season cancelled|
|Total||1244||822||326||21||75||1740||10 Division Titles||3 J. Ross Robertson Cups (135-83, 0.619)
2 Memorial Cups (10-6, 0.625)
- List of NHL players with 1000 points
- List of NHL players with 1000 games played
- List of NHL players with 2000 career penalty minutes
- "Les Nordiques, notre équipe", video documentary (French), Imavision, 1998 (see also DVD reed. 2006).
- "Dale Hunter and the biggest goal in Caps history". Washington Post. November 28, 2011. Retrieved June 3, 2020.
- Crothers, Time (December 6, 1993). "Dale Hunter". Sports Illustrated. Retrieved January 11, 2011.
- "Capitals Name Dale Hunter Head Coach". November 28, 2011. Retrieved November 28, 2011.
- "Hunter won't return as Capitals coach". May 14, 2012. [permanent dead link]
- Canada’s National Junior Team and Canada’s National Men’s Summer Under-18 Team at the 2020 IIHF World Junior Championship
- Kuzmiak, Eric (April 28, 2008). "A Trip Through Hockey History: Remembering the Dale Hunter Cheapshot".
- Kemick, April (August 20, 2006). "Knights coach charged with drunk driving".
- Biographical information and career statistics from Eliteprospects.com, or Hockey-Reference.com, or The Internet Hockey Database
| Washington Capitals captain
| Head coach of the London Knights
| Head coach of the Washington Capitals
| Head coach of the London Knights
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