Dale Hunter and Diet Coke
In the matter of "what was Dale Hunter drinking before his interview following his game-winning goal in Game 7 of the 1988 Patrick semifinals," a reader submits this answer: Diet Coke. And so we go back to the archives, around the time of Hunter's retirement, for the answer.
Off-ice official Bill Brooks has been working with the Capitals since the organization started in 1974. While the other officials often rotate assignments, Brooks has always worked in the Washington penalty box, keeping players calm and letting them know when they can go back on the ice. When Hunter earned his 1,000th point on Friday, it reminded Brooks about another milestone.
"You heard about the Diet Coke can?" he asked. "When Hunter reached 1,000 games, and his whole family came for a presentation, I gave him a plaque I had made up with a Diet Coke can on it.
"He used to drink a lot of Diet Coke in the box, and about seven or eight years ago, [defenseman Kevin] Hatcher was in there one night with him. Hunts asks me for one of his Diet Cokes, and I give it to him. When Hatcher asks me for one later, I tell him I can't, they're Dale Hunter's and I can see Dale later giving him a hard time on the bench.
"So Hunter and I cooked it up, and about a month later, I said to Hatcher, 'Did you hear what happened? They saw Dale drinking Diet Coke on TV and asked him to endorse it. He's getting $ 5,000 for it.' Well, Hatcher went crazy, saying why didn't he get some of that endorsement, too! Dale and I went on with it for the rest of the season until we told him the truth."
In fact, much of Rachel Alexander's story at the time was about Hunter's penchant for practical jokes.
"I'll just say this: Don't leave your car keys around him," OIaf Kolzig said. "He'll put some fish remains under your seat. You won't find them for a few days, but that smell will be there for quite a while."
Bad-smelling practical jokes! Oh noes! Un-retire his number!
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