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D. Hunter on Carlson: 'He's Very Smart'


Caps goalie Olie Kolzig uses his glove to wipe the face of teammate Dale Hunter, just as Hunter gave Detroit's Steve Yzerman a facewash. (1998 file photo by Rich Lipski - The Post)


Earlier today, I had a chance to catch up with Capitals great Dale Hunter, who is in town to watch development camp and visit with GM George McPhee. Here's some of our brief conversation:

Q: After practicing at places like Piney Orchard and Mount Vernon, what do you think of Kettler Capitals Iceplex?
A: This facility is unbelievable. At Mount Vernon, we worked out in a trailer. There was no heat or nothing.

Q: A lot of folks wonder why you aren't coaching in the NHL.
A: Right now, me and my brother own the [London Knights of the OHL]. We like developing kids. I was gone a long time [while on the road playing for the Caps], and now my own kids are almost grown, so in the future you never know. If the right situation comes up. Down the road, I definitely will be willing to take a stab at winning the Stanley Cup. I never did that. That's always the goal.

Q: Sounds like you really love what you do.
A: My job is to have kids be the best prepared as they can, so they can jump right into the National Hockey League, so Bruce Boudreau can put them right in the lineup. I want coaches like Bruce to say, 'Holy [...], this guy knows how to play.' That makes me feel good, to have the Sam Gagnes and Pat Kanes who come out and go right into the National Hockey League.

Q: Most of the buzz this week has been about defenseman John Carlson. You had him for a year; what were your impressions?
A: He's very smart, so he developed very quickly. He has the will to play, he wants to play in the National Hockey League and he does it with a smile. He's a guy like Alex Ovechkin; he's always got a smile on his face when he's playing. When you enjoy the game, you develop quicker.

He played very well for me. In the playoffs there, I was playing him 35, 40 minutes a game and he just ate it up. He's a great skater, has a good mind for the game and he's going to take a very, very good run at playing in the National Hockey League next year because of his skill level. There's no fear to his game. He's going have a great career as a 'D' in the National Hockey League.

Q: You also had [Islanders No. 1 overall draft pick] John Tavares for a bit last year. What was he like?
A: He's very serious, and he wants to be the best. He scored, I don't know, 32 goals in 20-something games for us. When he was going for the [OHL goal scoring record], it was against the best team that won the Memorial Cup. They didn't want him to do it, but he still found a way to do it. He's going to be a good one. He's committed. He's a very determined man to succeed.

Q: So, what do you think about the 20-foot high banner with your picture hanging on the wall over there?
A: Well [laughing], I was thinner back then. And I wasn't as gray. Must have been coaching that got me all that gray hair.

By Tarik El-Bashir  |  July 15, 2009; 12:55 PM ET
 
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Comments

hands down the greatest capital in my eyes. CAPTAIN FOR LIFE - DALE HUNTER!

Posted by: goskinsgo | July 15, 2009 1:08 PM | Report abuse

Oh yeah Dale? Smart enough to not take a cheap shot on a guy after you've been eliminated from the playoffs causing him to miss 1/4 of the following season. Sorry Caps fans, besides his OT goal in Game 7 against the Flyers, Dale Hunter was nothing but a goon. Took penalties at a bad time, all the time. In other words, he wasn't too smart. He played with his heart on his sleave. Before you "caps need more toughness" fans chime in, I'm going to raise the BS flag. I'm in my 40's so I watched "old time" hockey growing up and Hunter is 2nd all-time in NHL PIMs. He blew more plays than he made for the Caps. I'm embarrased his number is retired. He eclipsed 1,000 pts, but could have been so much more if he just played the game. You know how ticked some of you get when the Caps get called for a blatant stupid penalty? Hunter had at least one of those a game, usually when the Caps were still in a game. Let the bashing begin, but Hunter was a goon.

Posted by: fanohock1 | July 15, 2009 1:08 PM | Report abuse

Did he give you a facewash after the interview?

Posted by: Section117 | July 15, 2009 1:09 PM | Report abuse

Interesting the way the first comments use this as an opportunity to spout off about Dale Hunter's playing career, which ended how many years ago now?

As long as we're kicking it old school: no matter how nice a guy he supposedly is, Yvon Labre remains the worst athlete in the history of team sports to have his number retired without having died from an obscure disease first.

Posted by: ElGordo9 | July 15, 2009 1:19 PM | Report abuse

... but Hunter was a goon.
Posted by: fanohock1 | July 15, 2009 1:08 PM |

& u r who again?

ps -remember the Flyers game 7 goal? Or will you disregard the body of work totally because your figure skating roots are showing.

Posted by: Rocc00 | July 15, 2009 1:29 PM | Report abuse

ElGordo9: I agree whole-heartedly about Labre. Just had to put my two cents in regarding Hunter before everyone starts remarking how great he was. People revere him for some unknown reason.

Posted by: fanohock1 | July 15, 2009 1:29 PM | Report abuse

@fanohock1;

Dale Hunter put his body on the line for the Washington Capitals, and you post on what isn't even a real message board.
Guess which one's more valuable?

Posted by: pga6 | July 15, 2009 1:30 PM | Report abuse

fanohock1:
i don't think hunter would have gotten very many minutes per game in todays nhl - but i'm glad he wasn't on 'the other team'
ElGordo9:
i don't know if he was the worst athlete in the history of team sports - but since when does being a fan favorite on an expansion team warrant having your number retired. btw - he was my favorite 'first' cap

Posted by: Capt_Kirk_in_AZ | July 15, 2009 1:32 PM | Report abuse

@Rocc00: Can you read? I mentioned the Game 7 goal. Big deal, he screwed the Caps more than he helped them. Never owned a pair of figure skates in my life but have a garage full of hockey equipment. I will say it again, HUNTER WAS A GOOD. THREE THOUSAND FIVE HUNDRED SIXTY-FIVE PIMs. He was a GOON!

Posted by: fanohock1 | July 15, 2009 1:32 PM | Report abuse

Honestly. We are talking about the Washington Capitals here. We been around since 1975 and we've never won a Cup. Not that that's terrible but We only have a few hero's to immortalize. He scored that game 7 goal, he was a Capital for the bulk of his career and has been a Captain of our team. He was a CAPITAL.

We've never had players like Ovechkin, Backstrom, Green and Semin. SO this is a different (more skilled) team we have here. I for one embrace it like I embraced Hunter back in the day too. For as much as he pissed me off, he went out and gave it %150 every damn game. That's why he is up there and that's why he is a Legend to the Washington Capitals Organization.

-Go Caps

Posted by: ZMANN84 | July 15, 2009 1:32 PM | Report abuse

I'm embarrased...
Posted by: fanohock1 | July 15, 2009 1:08 PM |

We're embarrased you are even classified

Posted by: Rocc00 | July 15, 2009 1:34 PM | Report abuse

AZ: He was a goon back then, he be a bigger goon now. He probably wouldn't make an NHL team.

pga6: Hunter was a GOON. Everyone knows it. The NHL knows it, players that he played with and against know it. Accept it.

Posted by: fanohock1 | July 15, 2009 1:34 PM | Report abuse

Rocc00: That didn't make any sense. No matter how big of a Cap or hockey fan you claim to be you don't even come close to me. When I was deployed I had Caps games recorded and sent out to me. I drive 75 miles each way to sit in my season ticket seats 40+ times a year, and I can admit that Hunter was a goon. Ogie Oglethorpe in a Caps jersey.

Posted by: fanohock1 | July 15, 2009 1:36 PM | Report abuse


@Rocc00: Can you read? I mentioned the Game 7 goal. Big deal, he screwed the Caps more than he helped them. Never owned a pair of figure skates in my life but have a garage full of hockey equipment. I will say it again, HUNTER WAS A GOOD. THREE THOUSAND FIVE HUNDRED SIXTY-FIVE PIMs. He was a GOON!
Posted by: fanohock1 | July 15, 2009 1:32 PM |

Stopped reading after you resorted to name calling. Discredited when u use ad hominem attacks on hockey players.

Posted by: Rocc00 | July 15, 2009 1:38 PM | Report abuse

Re: fanohock1

Fail troll is fail.

Posted by: SmallZ827 | July 15, 2009 1:41 PM | Report abuse

If you're interested in how Carlson looks in a real game (albeit USHL), this video's kinda fun to watch:

John Carlson (Indiana Ice, USHL)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UYrbI6lP4J0&NR=1

That's before Hunter coached him though, so he may well play differently now.

I'm excited about Carlson (as with Varly, you know you have someone special when all the other teams bring up his name in trade talks), though I assume Boudreau/McPhee want him to earn his way into the lineup -- and everything seems to indicate he's well on his way. :)

Posted by: blackjack65 | July 15, 2009 1:49 PM | Report abuse

fanohock1 is the reason I stopped posting. I didn't say it was fact, I said in my eyes. That means it's my opinion.

Go ahead an flame me, I'm done with these comments section.

Peace

Posted by: goskinsgo | July 15, 2009 1:55 PM | Report abuse

@SmallZ827: I'm far from a troll. STH, and haven't missed 1 minute of 1 game home or road for years. Don't wear any other teams colors in down years and am ticked that you would even imply I am a troll. Dale Hunter was a goon. His penalty minutes speak for themself. If you were a fan back then you wouldn't like him either unless you are grasping for some kind of hero from the Caps past. Langway and Gardner earned their retired numbers, then were great players. Dale Hunter was an average player with the 2nd most PIMs in NHL history. Donald Brashear was our last "enforcer" and goon by NHL standards. His PIMs pale in comparison. I knew I'd take a beating for what I said but don't accuse me of being a troll. I am a bigger Caps fan than you'll ever be. I have been accused of being a homer because I won't jump in on the trashing of current Caps players. People that come here often may get mad at my comments, but they know I'm here to talk about the Caps, not any other team.

Posted by: fanohock1 | July 15, 2009 1:56 PM | Report abuse

Who cares if he was a goon? Score 1000 points and we'll listen to you.

Posted by: thiazzi | July 15, 2009 2:00 PM | Report abuse

If you're still hear goskinsgo you may not believe it but I was drafting my first imput without even seeing your's. It appears my 1st comment was in response to your's, but it wasn't, I swear on my Caps jersey it wasn't. My entry is too long to have been in response to your's, if you notice they have the same time stamp. Anyhow, I totally agree that everyone's opinions matter. That's why I put mine out there knowing I would get hammered. I usually caveat my entries in IMO, and I should have done that in regards to Hunter.

Posted by: fanohock1 | July 15, 2009 2:01 PM | Report abuse

@thiazzi: My opinion, and the opinion of NHL hockey in general. Don't get over 3500 PIMs if you don't want to get labled a goon. He didn't get over 1000 points with us.

Posted by: fanohock1 | July 15, 2009 2:03 PM | Report abuse

Oh yeah Dale? Smart enough to not take a cheap shot on a guy after you've been eliminated from the playoffs causing him to miss 1/4 of the following season. Sorry Caps fans, besides his OT goal in Game 7 against the Flyers, Dale Hunter was nothing but a goon. Took penalties at a bad time, all the time. In other words, he wasn't too smart. He played with his heart on his sleave. Before you "caps need more toughness" fans chime in, I'm going to raise the BS flag. I'm in my 40's so I watched "old time" hockey growing up and Hunter is 2nd all-time in NHL PIMs. He blew more plays than he made for the Caps. I'm embarrased his number is retired. He eclipsed 1,000 pts, but could have been so much more if he just played the game. You know how ticked some of you get when the Caps get called for a blatant stupid penalty? Hunter had at least one of those a game, usually when the Caps were still in a game. Let the bashing begin, but Hunter was a goon.

Posted by: fanohock1 | July 15, 2009 1:08 PM | Report abuse


WORST POST OF ALL TIME. To even respond to this gives it credibility.

Posted by: cstanton1 | July 15, 2009 2:03 PM | Report abuse

He didn't get over 1000 points with us.

Posted by: fanohock1

lol

Posted by: thiazzi | July 15, 2009 2:05 PM | Report abuse

AZ: He was a goon back then, he be a bigger goon now. He probably wouldn't make an NHL team.

pga6: Hunter was a GOON. Everyone knows it. The NHL knows it, players that he played with and against know it. Accept it.

Posted by: fanohock1 | July 15, 2009 1:34 PM | Report abuse

You don't have any idea what a "goon" is. By your definition, Rick Tocchet and numerous others are also goons. Which puts them in the same category of players who were only in the NHL based on their fighting ability. Which of course makes no sense.

Posted by: cstanton1 | July 15, 2009 2:05 PM | Report abuse

@thiazzi: My opinion, and the opinion of NHL hockey in general. Don't get over 3500 PIMs if you don't want to get labled a goon. He didn't get over 1000 points with us.

Posted by: fanohock1 | July 15, 2009 2:03 PM | Report abuse


There isn't a single credible source in the NHL - media, players, coaches, GMs who would classify Dale Hunter as a goon. Again, you don't really understand the term.

Posted by: cstanton1 | July 15, 2009 2:06 PM | Report abuse

@fanohock1

It's comments like "I'm a bigger Caps fan than you'll ever be" that make you a troll. The fact that you are a huge fan of this team, as most of us on these boards are, does not make you exempt from being a troll. It's all caps and yelling and your opinion doesn't matter because I have a different one so there that makes you a troll.

I'm happy you refuse to bash current Caps players. I, too, am a huge homer, and understand where you're coming from. But Hunter is one of precious few "big names" in an organization that hasn't been around that long and hasn't had the most storied history. So, frankly, whether you like him or not, shouting about him on a message board isn't going to get you anywhere, and saying that people are wrong because they refuse to agree with your negative stance on a Caps great makes you the troll.

Posted by: SmallZ827 | July 15, 2009 2:06 PM | Report abuse

I'm a big Caps fan and always loved Dale Hunter's 100% effort. I'll also remember his blind side late hit after the Caps lost a playoff series (believe it was to the Rangers) on a player that resulted in a 20-game suspension the next season. As great a leader as he was for the Caps, he was also one of the dirtiest players in the game in his era. A lot of what he did was unnecessary and resulted in stupid penalties that hurt the team. If he'd stuck more to just playing the game instead of trying to incite players on the other team, he would have had scored a lot more points.

I think he deserved his banner at Verizon for what he did for the Caps as their captain, but his style of play left a lot to be desired.

Posted by: wizfan89 | July 15, 2009 2:08 PM | Report abuse

Flyers @ Bruins WC official, by the by. Not that we didn't know it was coming. Personally I'll be quite happy to be at our home game on New Year's Day like normal.

Posted by: SmallZ827 | July 15, 2009 2:09 PM | Report abuse

@SmallZ827

AMEN

Posted by: ZMANN84 | July 15, 2009 2:09 PM | Report abuse

i'd like a dale hunter on our team today...leadership, ability to influence the game, responsible, pride, an excellent captain.

Posted by: outrbnksm | July 15, 2009 2:11 PM | Report abuse

@Fanohock1 - Hunter was a leader, a blood and guts type of player and was much much more than a good. He regrets the Turgeon incident, it was spur of the moment bad decision and I am sure he had no intention of actually breaking Turgeon's colalrbone. If no injury occurs, you're looking at a 5 game suspension and that's it.

Hunter adapted his game and remained a solid contributor from being a feisty goal scorer to a feisty set up man to a feisty checking line player.

He didn't take crap from anybody, competed every shift and deserves the respect that everyone gives him.

Posted by: SombreroGuy | July 15, 2009 2:11 PM | Report abuse

It's a flood of Dale Hunter apologists! In his prime, Head Hunter was a talented, tough and gritty player. Unfortunately for him, he will only be remembered (a la Marty McSorely) for one of the two or three all-time cheap shots in NHL history:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Xte-Vtxg-m8

Posted by: Jumpy66 | July 15, 2009 2:11 PM | Report abuse

Honestly. We are talking about the Washington Capitals here. We been around since 1975 and we've never won a Cup. Not that that's terrible but We only have a few hero's to immortalize. He scored that game 7 goal, he was a Capital for the bulk of his career and has been a Captain of our team. He was a CAPITAL.

We've never had players like Ovechkin, Backstrom, Green and Semin. SO this is a different (more skilled) team we have here. I for one embrace it like I embraced Hunter back in the day too. For as much as he pissed me off, he went out and gave it %150 every damn game. That's why he is up there and that's why he is a Legend to the Washington Capitals Organization.

-Go Caps

Posted by: ZMANN84 | July 15, 2009 1:32 PM | Report abuse

AMEN!! I mean hello! I'm sorry but we need a witch doctor or someone to come in here and get rid of all the negativity re: GMGM bashing, Green bashing, Semin bashing, now Hunter bashing. I mean really guys, is life that bad? Can't we just bask in the glory of our future players and be positive for a second? People in here are complaining just as much as the Rangers fans I'm surrounded by, and that should tell you that we need a reality check. Bash has been considered a goon, and we (most of us) love him, so why not love Hunter?

Peace, love, and hockey my dudes.

Posted by: mrszilla | July 15, 2009 2:11 PM | Report abuse

SmallZ827: Of course this is my opinion. A troll is someone who lingers in an area not their own to harass those that belong. I haven't seen you here before so that makes you a troll by definition.

Posted by: fanohock1 | July 15, 2009 2:13 PM | Report abuse

Q: What is the difference between a good and a hard nosed player?

A: 1,000+ career points.

Goons are one dimensional, Hunter would mix it up but did so much more. To call him nothing more than a good just reveals ignorance

Posted by: SombreroGuy | July 15, 2009 2:14 PM | Report abuse

@fanohock1

Nah, trolling is pretty much just being a prick on the internet because you don't have to be responsible for what you write, and you're doing a pretty good job at it.

I normally just read these posts and don't comment because of people like you, who turn the possibility for discussion and debate (and Hunter obviously offers great opportunity for both) into a juvenile, name-calling, pissing contest.

It would seem that Caps fans can troll the Caps boards just as easily as Penguins fans.

Posted by: SmallZ827 | July 15, 2009 2:16 PM | Report abuse

fanohock1,
P_ss off. Hunter was a heart and soul player, who brought it every game for the Caps while he was here. He made some bad decisions on the ice from time to time, but his heart and grit was a big part of the Capitals for a long time. He was a Captain with capital C.

Posted by: pcalver1 | July 15, 2009 2:16 PM | Report abuse

Hunter's hit was against Turgeon when he was an Islander. I told everyone I would get blasted. It was my opinion folks. You don't have to agree, I'm not asking you to do that. If you're looking for a Caps player from the '90's to appreciate, look to Bondra, Kolzig, Johanson, those were great players. I see many Caps fans, in here, talk about how much of a goon Hartnell is, well, Hunter was much worse, again, my opinion. I really don't mind anyone blasting me, but don't call me a troll, I'm far from that.

Posted by: fanohock1 | July 15, 2009 2:17 PM | Report abuse

fanohock, you are entitled to your opinion, but i think you can fit those who agree w/ your assesment in sombreroguy's sombrero.

i think dale's biggest problem was lifting the eastern conference trophy after beating the sabres. nobody even touches the conference trophys anymore cause they dont want to jinx their chances for the big trophy.

Posted by: dcsportsfan1 | July 15, 2009 2:20 PM | Report abuse

Oh, dear, dear, fanohock1.

You aren't getting blasted for your opinion (at least not by me), you're getting blasted for the way you frame it. You're allowed to hold the opinion that Hunter's number shouldn't have been retired. What you shouldn't say, if you want to retain credibility, are things like "Hunter was a GOON. Everyone knows it. The NHL knows it, players that he played with and against know it. Accept it."

In fact, not everyone "knows" it. Since it's not fact, and not an opinion, people may disagree with you, and they may have good reasons for doing so. Bondra, Olie, and Calle are all greats, and probably more likable than Hunter, and they belong in the conversation, too. But to just try to shout down everyone who doesn't agree with you re: Hunter, yes, I'll say it again, makes you a troll.

Posted by: SmallZ827 | July 15, 2009 2:21 PM | Report abuse

Very mature thread going on. How old are you guys? 13?

Thanks for the link blackjack. Bruce has to take a chance with this guy and be patient with development. Guy seems strong mentally.

Posted by: jakopz | July 15, 2009 2:21 PM | Report abuse

Not an opinion many share, rather.

Posted by: SmallZ827 | July 15, 2009 2:22 PM | Report abuse

Goons are one dimensional, Hunter would mix it up but did so much more. To call him nothing more than a good just reveals ignorance

Posted by: SombreroGuy | July 15, 2009 2:14 PM | Report abuse

double amen. By Fanock's definition, any player who accumulates a certain # of PIMs REGARDLESS OF ANY OTHER CONTRIBUTIONS ON THE ICE AND OFF THE ICE is a "goon". Wow! I wonder if Mark Messier is also a goon. I mean he did have 2000 PIMs. How about Tocchet. How about Gary Roberts? Keith Tkachuk? Gordie Howe? Even Marty McSorely ended up being a lot more than a goon even though he started his career out as one.

Posted by: cstanton1 | July 15, 2009 2:24 PM | Report abuse

@jakopz

I apologize for the threadjack, and tried to frame my comments in a mature manner. I'd rather talk about the issues, but when someone takes the thread and makes that impossible, I tend to take the bait, it's my fault.

I'm excited about Carlson, and hopefully he'll quite those who were clamoring for a big FA D-man.

Posted by: SmallZ827 | July 15, 2009 2:25 PM | Report abuse

Fanohock,

I just checked in and have only read a couple posts here but I see above you posted

"Never owned a pair of figure skates in my life but have a garage full of hockey equipment. I will say it again, HUNTER WAS A GOOD."

just chiming in on that little misspelling, only one O in god. So its "HUNTER WAS A GOD."

I know that's nitpicking but I'm a grammar and spelling guy...

Posted by: capsfan7 | July 15, 2009 2:25 PM | Report abuse

Fanock1-- just curious -- did you live thru that period of time when Hunter first got to the Caps ? Were you a big fan in the late 80s? If not...it could explain a little (i mean a very tiny little) of why you're such a Dale basher.

If there was ever a player you could point to who made his entire team play better when he was in the lineup, it was #32. He lifted the team on his shoulders, he was universally loved by every teammate who ever played with him (going back to his Quebec days). And he was loved by the fans for the teams he played for and hated by the fans he played against - which goes further to prove how effective he was on the ice.

Posted by: cstanton1 | July 15, 2009 2:30 PM | Report abuse

Carlson>Alzner

--so if we're going to make a trade and teams come begging for a prospect or two, I sure hope we can push them onto Alzner instead.

Posted by: cstanton1 | July 15, 2009 2:31 PM | Report abuse

Hunter's number is retired because he is one of the greatest Capitals of all time. Period. You might not like players who rack up the PIMs, but lots of people do, including teammates who appreciate having someone to stand up for them.

BTW, Fanohock, you're a troll because you make caustic statements sure to get an angry response from most people on the board. Slandering Dale Hunter and expecting to "get blasted" is a prime example of trolling.

Posted by: Langway4Eva | July 15, 2009 2:31 PM | Report abuse

I think a very important point that Fanohock is conveniently neglecting to mention is the fact that NHL hockey was a very different game in the 1980's than it is today. Dale Hunter was not a goon in the Patrick Division days, he was a prototype player that played NHL hockey very well by the rules of the game at that time. It was a much rougher and less finesse game in general at that time. Would he be as important a player in the game today? Doubtful, but hard to say with any real certainty. But to call him simply a goon is simply inaccurate and makes you look like you don't really remember how the game was played back then.

This is my first post on this board, although I have been a regular reader for quite a while now. I have been going to Caps games since the mid-70's, so when Fanohock whips out his "my fan is bigger than your fan, I am the biggest Caps fan of all time" routine it makes me want to retch, but so be it.

Posted by: RastaFish | July 15, 2009 2:32 PM | Report abuse

Sorry everyone but this team has yet to prove it is the most talented Caps team ever. Not when at one point the team had 4 future Hall of fame players (Langway, Stevens,Murphy, Gartner) on it and the best player IMO (Gussy) is not or will ever be with the time he did not play enough games in NHL to earn it. The only problem that team had was no goalie to match the skaters. We can look back in 15 or 20 years then say that, maybe if they earn it.

Posted by: RichC3 | July 15, 2009 2:32 PM | Report abuse

speaking of real trolls, there used to be a troll on this board with a particular love for a former equipment manager. he used to slam ted and GMGM for p*ssing off all the old caps like bonzai and hunter, etc. well, sure is good to see hunter back talking w/GMGM and taking a keen interest in his players who were drafted by the caps.

Posted by: dcsportsfan1 | July 15, 2009 2:33 PM | Report abuse

I haved in several past discussion to not disparage my name. Thank you

Posted by: DaleHunter | July 15, 2009 2:35 PM | Report abuse

@RastaFish

I am a "longtime listener first time caller" as well. (Actually, I think I posted in one other thread). But I just couldn't sit idly by in this case.

And, for the sake of transparency and full disclosure, I am only 22, so I'm not even sure I have a concrete opinion on Dale Hunter, as my skull wasn't completely solid yet when he joined the Caps. But when I turned, 7, 8, 9 years old, those years when kids start to develop that sports knack, he was still playing, and I watched him enough to develop a fondness, at the very least.

Posted by: SmallZ827 | July 15, 2009 2:39 PM | Report abuse

--Period. You might not like players who rack up the PIMs, but lots of people do, including teammates who appreciate having someone to stand up for them.

true-- i read a comment once from Alan May who compared Dale to Scott Stevens. When Stevens got signed by the Blues, Alan May was interviewed a year or so later and said that when Stevens left there was a huge void that didn't show up on stat sheets. Stevens made everyone around him play bigger. May called it a "foxhole mentality"
A few yrs after that, Konowalchuk stated the same thing about Hunter. How he makes every teammate more confident on the ice. He truly is one of the greatest hockey leaders to ever play, and certainly along with Stevens and Langway, one of the top 2 or 3 Caps leaders. I'm sure Ovechkin will be at the top at the end of his career as well.

Posted by: cstanton1 | July 15, 2009 2:39 PM | Report abuse

Hunter was the epitome of the "skilled agitator."

Posted by: C-way | July 15, 2009 2:40 PM | Report abuse

@RastaFish

I am a "longtime listener first time caller" as well. (Actually, I think I posted in one other thread). But I just couldn't sit idly by in this case.

And, for the sake of transparency and full disclosure, I am only 22, so I'm not even sure I have a concrete opinion on Dale Hunter, as my skull wasn't completely solid yet when he joined the Caps. But when I turned, 7, 8, 9 years old, those years when kids start to develop that sports knack, he was still playing, and I watched him enough to develop a fondness, at the very least.

Posted by: SmallZ827 | July 15, 2009 2:39 PM | Report abuse

You're the sharpest 22 yr old hockey fan whose comments I've ever read. Except for myself, when I was 22, lol

Too bad you never got a chance to watch Huntsy in his prime. He did all the dirty work that a 4th liner was expected to do, he provided all the leadership a great captain was supposed to provide, and he managed to center our top lines without missing a beat. Not to mention his faceoff skills. And at under 6ft, he frequently battled combatants much bigger, he took his licks, he gave his licks, and he looked after all his teammates. Not bad for just bein a "goon"

Posted by: cstanton1 | July 15, 2009 2:44 PM | Report abuse

This year, the NHL will try to take yet another step forward in creating an event that will reach across traditional hockey boundaries by playing a game at Fenway Park in Boston, an event confirmed Wednesday as the NHL released its full 2009-2010 schedule.
From Burnside on ESPN - talking about the Winter Classic:

"You'd expect, then, that the NHL would have finally gotten around to inviting Alexander Ovechkin and the Washington Capitals to perform on such a stage, wouldn't you?

Ah, no."

Posted by: NJNJ | July 15, 2009 2:45 PM | Report abuse

RastaFish~ Dale Hunter was not a goon in the Patrick Division days, he was a prototype player that played NHL hockey very well by the rules of the game at that time. It was a much rougher and less finesse game in general at that time. Would he be as important a player in the game today? Doubtful, but hard to say with any real certainty. But to call him simply a goon is simply inaccurate and makes you look like you don't really remember how the game was played back then


In today's game, even Gordie Howe wouldn't measure up. Everyone skates faster, and is stronger today. So its impossible to compare players from different eras. But if you look at some basics, I'd say Dale Hunter could compare favorably to certain players -- I see aspects of Mike Richards, Brandon Dubinsky, Ryan Kesler etc.

Posted by: cstanton1 | July 15, 2009 2:47 PM | Report abuse

Anybody who thinks Dale Hunter was just a goon doesn't remember Dale Hunter. He was an instigator not a goon. Yes he wracked up a bunch of penalty minutes but much of the time he was taking somebody off with him. Ask his teammates what they thought of him. When the Caps made the finals who do you think the players mentioned when they did made it? The hit on Turgeon will unfortunately forever tarnish his legacy but he was a tremendous overall player who did whatever was asked of him.

And by the way, he wasn't the greatest Cap. For now that honor goes to Rod Langway although he won't hold the banner for long.

Posted by: ouvan59 | July 15, 2009 2:48 PM | Report abuse

good article by scott burnside on espn.com on why it should be caps bruins at fenway and not the flyers. not only would it showcase ov, etc, but then they could have had the flyers/pens at beaver stadium in the future.

Posted by: dcsportsfan1 | July 15, 2009 2:58 PM | Report abuse

Posted by: alexanderperlmutter | July 15, 2009 3:04 PM | Report abuse

October 3rd, bring on the Maple Leafs for the home opener, October 1st a date with the Bruins up there. Stinks that Bears home opener is the 3rd also, would have love to been at both openers

Posted by: BBDwrestling | July 15, 2009 3:08 PM | Report abuse

The greatest Cap ever was Martin Gendron.

Posted by: thiazzi | July 15, 2009 3:13 PM | Report abuse

The greatest Cap ever was Martin Gendron.

Posted by: thiazzi | July 15, 2009 3:13 PM | Report abuse


Jeff Toms was better and you know it

Posted by: cstanton1 | July 15, 2009 3:18 PM | Report abuse

I think fanohock1's comment is his opinion and he's entitled to it. It's when someone mentioned that he wore figure skates was when it took a turn for the worse and rightfully so, fanohock1 had to defend himself.

I, for one, don't think fanohock1 is a troll. He may have a controversial opinion here and there but I know a number of posters who also have their share of controversial opinions, cstanton1 being one of them. He's akin to the old man who sits on his porch, threatening the neighborhood kids that if their balls go into his yard, he keeps it.

Let's all try to settle down, each of you remembering Hunter in your own way.

Posted by: LeftCoastCapsFan | July 15, 2009 3:30 PM | Report abuse

Please remember... you cannot have a fracas without Dale Hunter.

Posted by: brihobbs | July 15, 2009 3:31 PM | Report abuse

@LeftCoastCapsFan

I appreciate your soothing, dulcet tones (no sarcasm intended, it's nice to have people moderate debates/arguments) but trying to get each of us to remember Hunter in our own way was all I was trying to do in the first place. I think everyone is entitled to their own opinion, and it's not because of fanohock's controversial opinion that I took issue with him/her.

Posted by: SmallZ827 | July 15, 2009 3:35 PM | Report abuse

Oh yeah Dale? Smart enough to not take a cheap shot on a guy after you've been eliminated from the playoffs causing him to miss 1/4 of the following season. Sorry Caps fans, besides his OT goal in Game 7 against the Flyers, Dale Hunter was nothing but a goon. Took penalties at a bad time, all the time. In other words, he wasn't too smart. He played with his heart on his sleave. Before you "caps need more toughness" fans chime in, I'm going to raise the BS flag. I'm in my 40's so I watched "old time" hockey growing up and Hunter is 2nd all-time in NHL PIMs. He blew more plays than he made for the Caps. I'm embarrased his number is retired. He eclipsed 1,000 pts, but could have been so much more if he just played the game. You know how ticked some of you get when the Caps get called for a blatant stupid penalty? Hunter had at least one of those a game, usually when the Caps were still in a game. Let the bashing begin, but Hunter was a goon.

Posted by: fanohock1 | July 15, 2009 1:08 PM | Report abuse
=================================

Try to get your facts straight at least!!! Turgeon made it back for game 7 of the following series against the Pens and then played the entire series against the Habs!!! What is this "causing him to miss 1/4 of the following season"!!!! Total BS!! He played nearly the entire season the following year!!
All talk.....no substance!! Figures!!!

Posted by: dkidwell61 | July 15, 2009 3:51 PM | Report abuse

Ogie Oglethorpe in a Caps jersey.
Posted by: fanohock1 | July 15, 2009 1:36 PM


@fanohock1:

OK, fine, 3,000 + PIM’s, etc., etc.

However, regarding pride vs. shame, we’ll have to agree to disagree. The real point is that although Huntzie may indeed have been a goon by some standards, he was nevertheless OUR goon!

I will always remember a faceoff he took against Yzerman in the SC Final in '98: The immediate stinky glove that followed spoke volumes about his courage in refusing to be intimidated by the Red Wings mystique.

Posted by: Rhino40 | July 15, 2009 4:37 PM | Report abuse

Fancluck1, you may be embarrassed about Hunter, but I'm embarrassed I read your post. Despite your so-called hockey expertise, you have no clue.

Posted by: capsfan77 | July 15, 2009 4:54 PM | Report abuse

P.S. Speaking of embarrassing, the only Caps player who made me feel that way was Randy Holt. Now there was a goon.

Posted by: capsfan77 | July 15, 2009 5:04 PM | Report abuse

I, for one, don't think fanohock1 is a troll. He may have a controversial opinion here and there but I know a number of posters who also have their share of controversial opinions, cstanton1 being one of them. He's akin to the old man who sits on his porch, threatening the neighborhood kids that if their balls go into his yard, he keeps it.

Let's all try to settle down, each of you remembering Hunter in your own way.

Posted by: LeftCoastCapsFan | July 15, 2009 3:30 PM | Report abuse

in all honesty, if fanock wasn't your good buddy you would've had a totally different take on his post. That makes you..dishonest and a hypocrite. Just glad I get under your skin so easily.

Posted by: cstanton1 | July 15, 2009 5:11 PM | Report abuse

I, for one, don't think fanohock1 is a troll. He may have a controversial opinion here and there but I know a number of posters who also have their share of controversial opinions, cstanton1 being one of them. He's akin to the old man who sits on his porch, threatening the neighborhood kids that if their balls go into his yard, he keeps it.

Let's all try to settle down, each of you remembering Hunter in your own way.

Posted by: LeftCoastCapsFan | July 15, 2009 3:30 PM | Report abuse

in all honesty, if fanock wasn't your good buddy you would've had a totally different take on his post. That makes you..dishonest and a hypocrite. Just glad I get under your skin so easily.

Posted by: cstanton1 | July 15, 2009 5:11 PM | Report abuse

Fancluck1, you may be embarrassed about Hunter, but I'm embarrassed I read your post. Despite your so-called hockey expertise, you have no clue.

Posted by: capsfan77 | July 15, 2009 4:54 PM | Report abuse

well, to defend Fanock- he is completely clueless regarding Dale Hunter, he is offbase calling out fans for being "trolls" who disagree with him, but he is no troll himself. And he did let me off the hook for the Rangers series so I guess I'll have to let him skate on this one, lol

Posted by: cstanton1 | July 15, 2009 5:14 PM | Report abuse

P.S. Speaking of embarrassing, the only Caps player who made me feel that way was Randy Holt. Now there was a goon.

Posted by: capsfan77 | July 15, 2009 5:04 PM | Report abuse

The Caps goons in order that I can remember:

Holt
Schofield
Kastelic
Thompson
May
Kordic
Berube
Brashear

(note, no Kypreous, no Hunter, no Tinordi, not even Chris Simon)

Posted by: cstanton1 | July 15, 2009 5:16 PM | Report abuse

i would have to say this has now been the least boring 'off-season' day so far. thanks to all who have kept me thoroughly entertained for the last few hours.

i think hunter can be compared to the 'on-ice' play of avery today. and i'll make this clear - not the off-ice avery. if you were anywhere near hunter - you could count on getting a little elbow, a small spear, a 'love tap' slash or even a facewash. he was the player that every opposing fan loved to hate. he brought a lot to the ice and was one of the most successful capitals players. i lost a little respect for him on his hit to turgeon - but that doesn't negate what he did while he was a cap

Posted by: Capt_Kirk_in_AZ | July 15, 2009 5:36 PM | Report abuse

@fanhock - if Hunter being a goon is your opinion then you're entitled to having a stupid uneducated opinion. How convenient for you to take the worst moment of somebody's career (one that I'm sure he would take back if he could)and label him something because of it. So OV last year "show boated" with his hot stick celebration, does that mean he's and egotistical all me person? I've met Dale Hunter many times and even a few times after he was traded out here to Colorado. I've had the privaledge of having beers with the man. I can tell you from personal experience that you'll never meet a more genuine, real and down to earth professional athlete than Hunter. Furthermore your label of goon makes it seem like he did nothing good. If you know Caps hockey then this would be a stupid comment. I shouldn't have to tell you about what he was as a player and a team Captain. I could care less how long you've had season tickets. Hell I had season tix when I moved to Colorado in 96. Does that make me any ..."better"? Hell no but your comments make me think that you aren't real educated as far as the type of player Hunter was. He deserved to have his jersey retired. Oh, trivia question.... maybe this will let us know how educated you are about Hunter. The night they retired his jersey, what was the gift given to him on that night?

Posted by: pokerfaceI208 | July 16, 2009 1:10 AM | Report abuse

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