Dale Hunter

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CanadaCanada  Dale Hunter Ice hockey player
Date of birth July 31, 1960
place of birth Petrolia , Ontario , Canada
Nickname The nuisance
size 178 cm
Weight 91 kg
position center
Shot hand Left
NHL Entry Draft 1979 , 2nd lap, 41st position
Nordiques de Québec
Career stations
1977-1988 Kitchener Rangers
1978-1980 Sudbury Wolves
1980-1987 Nordiques de Québec
1987-1999 Washington Capitals
1999 Colorado Avalanche

Dale Robert Hunter (born July 31, 1960 in Petrolia , Ontario ) is a former Canadian ice hockey player and current coach and functionary who played 1593 games for the Nordiques de Québec , Washington Capitals and in the course of his active career between 1977 and 1999 Colorado Avalanche has played in the National Hockey League on the position of the center . Hunter, who the player type of Enforcers embodied and his jersey number 32 of the Washington Capitals locked was, is the only player in the NHL history over 300 goals, 1,000 points scorer received and 3,000 penalty minutes. With a total of 3565 penalty minutes in the regular season , he ranks second behind Tiger Williams on the all-time best list. With the exception of a one-year break, he has been training the London Knights from the Ontario Hockey League since 2001 .


Player career

Dale Hunter began his career in 1977 in the Canadian Junior League Ontario Major Junior Hockey League with the Kitchener Rangers for which he played for a year before he went on the ice from 1978 for the Sudbury Wolves . There he managed 110 points in his first year and was able to attract the attention of the talent scouts of the National Hockey League . In the NHL Entry Draft 1979 he was then selected in the second round at position 41 by the Nordiques de Québec .

After another year in Sudbury, he joined the Nordiques in the fall of 1980. In his first season he came to 63 points in 80 games, but also to 226 penalty minutes. In his second season he even received 272 penalty minutes, which should represent the highest value in his career for him.

During his time in Québec, he kept his points consistently at a good level. Its lowest value was 63, its highest 79 points. He also kept the time he spent in the penalty box per season constant, at least 200 minutes. Only in the 1986/87 season he deviated from his line, as he was out 34 games because of a broken leg. Since Hunter loved the hard game and sometimes let his fists fly, he cultivated a tough rivalry, especially with the players of local rivals Canadiens de Montréal .

In 1987 he was transferred to the Washington Capitals . In his first four years there he could not score as well as in Québec, but his physically tough game made him very important to the team. In 1991/92 he found his scorer qualities again and achieved the second highest value in his career with 78 points. The following year he scored 79 points, which he had done nine years earlier. But this season Hunter hit the headlines again because of his tough game. In the playoffs , the Capitals met the New York Islanders in the first round and were 2-3 back after five games. In the sixth game, it did not look good for the Capitals and after a goal the Islanders broke Hunter jubilant goal scorers Pierre Turgeon with a cross-check against the gang the clavicle . Dale Hunter was suspended for this foul for the first 21 games of the 1993–94 season .

In 1994, Dale Hunter was named team captain for the Washington Capitals. Hunter scored less and less in the following years and also collected fewer penalty minutes. But in 1997 he got his first appointment in the NHL All-Star Game . The next highlight followed the following year when he was able to move into the final series of the Stanley Cup playoffs in 1998 with the Capitals , but were subject to the Detroit Red Wings there .

The banners of the blocked numbers of the Washington Capitals

The following season 1998/99 was mostly negative. Hunter had only scored five points in 50 games. Hunter's former team from Québec had no sporting successes over the years and financially it was not going well, so that the team moved to Denver in the summer of 1995 and adopted the name Colorado Avalanche . In March 1999 Hunter was transferred to the Avalanche and thus to the franchise where he began his career. Hunter was able to compete in the remaining twelve games of the regular season and scored with two goals and four assists more points than in 50 games in Washington. In the playoffs, the team moved into the final of the Western Conference, where they had to admit defeat to the eventual Stanley Cup winner Dallas Stars in seven games.

Hunter then ended his career. In 1407 games he was able to achieve 1020 points. On March 11, 2000, the Washington Capitals hung a banner with jersey number 32 in honor of Dale Hunter on the ceiling of the ice rink in a solemn ceremony prior to an NHL game. The number is no longer given to any player in the Capitals and is the greatest honor that a team can give a player.

Coaching career

CanadaCanada  Dale Hunter
Coaching stations
2001-2011 London Knights
2011–2012 Washington Capitals
since 2012 London Knights

Immediately after the end of his career, Hunter got a position with the Capitals as director of player education, which he held for some time. In May 2000, Hunter and his brother Mark bought the London Knights junior team in the Canadian Ontario Hockey League . While Dale Hunter took over the post of coach, his brother held the post of general manager.

Within three years he led the Knights to the top of the league, but had to admit defeat in the conference final. Nevertheless, Hunter was honored with the Matt Leyden Trophy as the best coach of the OHL and with the Brian Kilrea Coach of the Year Award as the best coach of the Canadian Hockey League . In 2004/05, the Knights finally won the J. Ross Robertson Cup and then the Memorial Cup . During the season, the Knights played a total of 90 games, of which they played 79 victoriously and lost nine. Once again Hunter received the Matt Leyden Trophy.

In the following two years, the Knights continued to be at the top of the OHL and only failed in 2006 in the final of the playoffs and in 2007 in the conference final. The 2007/08 season they saw a step backwards when they were eliminated in the first round of the playoffs.

Among others, today's NHL players Corey Perry and Sam Gagner as well as the overall first of the NHL Entry Draft 2007 , Patrick Kane , played under Hunter in London .

After Bruce Boudreau's dismissal as head coach of the Washington Capitals , Hunter was presented on November 28, 2011 as his successor. With Washington Hunter reached the Eastern Conference semifinals, where he failed with his team at the New York Rangers . Two days after leaving, he announced his resignation from the coaching post and returned to London. There he won the J. Ross Robertson Cup again with the team the following season and the Memorial Cup for the second time in 2016.

At the 2020 U20 World Cup , Hunter led the Canadian U20 national team to a gold medal.

Achievements and Awards

As a player

As a trainer

  • 2006 OHL Second All-Star Team
  • 2010 OHL First All-Star Team
  • 2013 gold medal at the Ivan Hlinka Memorial Tournament
  • 2013 J. Ross Robertson Cup win with the London Knights
  • 2016 J. Ross Robertson Cup win with the London Knights
  • 2016 Memorial Cup win with the London Knights
  • 2020 gold medal at the U20 World Cup

Career statistics

Regular season Play-offs
season team league Sp T V Pt SM Sp T V Pt SM
1977/78 Kitchener Rangers OMJHL 68 22nd 42 64 115 9 1 0 1 32
1978/79 Sudbury Wolves OMJHL 59 42 68 110 188 10 4th 12 16 47
1979/80 Sudbury Wolves OMJHL 61 34 51 85 189 9 6th 9 15th 45
1980/81 Nordiques de Québec NHL 80 19th 44 63 226 5 4th 2 6th 34
1981/82 Nordiques de Québec NHL 80 22nd 50 72 272 16 3 7th 10 52
1982/83 Nordiques de Québec NHL 80 17th 46 63 206 4th 2 1 3 24
1983/84 Nordiques de Québec NHL 77 24 55 79 232 9 2 3 5 41
1984/85 Nordiques de Québec NHL 80 20th 52 72 209 17th 4th 6th 10 97
1985/86 Nordiques de Québec NHL 80 28 42 70 265 3 0 0 0 15th
1986/87 Nordiques de Québec NHL 46 10 29 39 135 13 1 7th 8th 56
1987/88 Washington Capitals NHL 79 22nd 37 59 240 14th 7th 5 12 98
1988/89 Washington Capitals NHL 80 20th 37 57 219 6th 0 4th 4th 29
1989/90 Washington Capitals NHL 80 23 39 62 233 15th 4th 8th 12 61
1990/91 Washington Capitals NHL 76 16 30th 46 234 11 1 9 10 41
1991/92 Washington Capitals NHL 80 28 50 78 205 7th 1 4th 5 16
1992/93 Washington Capitals NHL 84 20th 59 79 198 6th 7th 1 8th 35
1993/94 Washington Capitals NHL 52 9 29 38 131 7th 0 3 3 14th
1994/95 Washington Capitals NHL 45 8th 15th 23 101 7th 4th 4th 8th 24
1995/96 Washington Capitals NHL 82 13 24 37 112 6th 1 5 6th 24
1996/97 Washington Capitals NHL 82 14th 32 46 125 - - - - -
1997/98 Washington Capitals NHL 82 8th 18th 26th 103 21st 0 4th 4th 30th
1998/99 Washington Capitals NHL 50 0 5 5 102 - - - - -
1998/99 Colorado Avalanche NHL 12 2 4th 6th 17th 19th 1 3 4th 38
OMJHL overall 188 98 161 259 492 28 11 21st 32 124
NHL overall 1407 323 697 1020 3565 186 42 76 118 729

( Legend for player statistics: Sp or GP = games played; T or G = goals scored; V or A = assists scored ; Pkt or Pts = scorer points scored ; SM or PIM = penalty minutes received ; +/− = plus / minus balance; PP = overpaid goals scored ; SH = underpaid goals scored ; GW = winning goals scored; 1  play-downs / relegation )

NHL coaching statistics

Regular season Playoffs
season team league Sp S. N U Pt space Sp S. N result
2011/12 Washington Capitals NHL 60 30th 23 7th (67) 2nd, Southeast 14th 7th 7th Loss in the Conference semifinals
NHL overall 60 30th 23 7th 67 0 division title 14th 7th 7th 0 Stanley Cups

( Legend for coach statistics: Sp or GC = total games; W or S = wins scored; L or N = losses scored; T or U = draws scored; OTL or OTN = losses scored after overtime or shootout ; Pts or Pkt = points scored ; Pts% or Pkt% = point rate; Win% = win rate; result = round reached in the play-offs )


Dale Hunter has two brothers who also played in the NHL. His elder, Dave , played 746 games in the NHL, scoring 323 points. In 1984, 1985 and 1987 he was able to win the Stanley Cup with the Edmonton Oilers . His second brother is two years younger than Dale. Mark played 628 times in the NHL and scores 384 points. In 1989 he won the Stanley Cup with the Calgary Flames .

Dylan Hunter , Dale's son, was also a professional ice hockey player.


  • Dale Hunter has spent 3,565 minutes in the penalty box throughout his NHL career. Tiger Williams is the only player in NHL history to have received more penalty minutes.
  • He retained his reputation as a tough guy even after his career as a player. Especially as a trainer in the OHL, he attracted negative attention several times. In September 2005, he received a four-game ban after sending a player onto the ice in a test match intended to spark a brawl. Hunter was suspended for two games in January 2006 for his conduct towards the referee. In May 2006 he was fined $ 5,000 for massively criticizing the referees after his team was eliminated from the playoffs. He was arrested and sentenced in July 2006 for driving under the influence of alcohol. In September 2006 he was suspended for sending Matt Davis on the ice to join a brawl.
  • Dale Hunter holds the record for the most playoff games without winning a Stanley Cup with 186 games.

Web links

Individual evidence

  1. Joe Pelletier: Washington Capitals Legends: Dale Hunter. greatesthockeylegends.com, January 9, 2011, accessed February 23, 2019 .
  2. ^ Dale Hunter steps down as Capitals coach. National Hockey League , May 14, 2012, accessed May 14, 2012 .