There’s been no shortage of breaking player news today (Teemu Selanne’s returning, Darren Helm re-signed with Detroit for four years, Josh Harding re-signed in Minnesota for three years), but first, it’s time to look at a guy who does his work behind the bench: Dale Hunter.

His roller coaster ride in Washington ended when their season did, with him letting everyone know he would not be back. It was assumed he would head back to the team he co-owns, is president of, and coached for ten years, the London Knights.

And…

Everybody and their dog was right!

(Am I allowed to be a little angry that he stepped into Ovy’s prime and cut down his minutes, seriously affecting the time I got to watch him play? This whole thing really affected me, you guys.)

My podcast co-host Rob Pizzo and I had trouble making sense of his one year contract when it initially happened. Why uproot your life, commit to less than a full season, dip your toe in the water and peace out? Either commit to giving it a legit shot, or don’t go. The Capitals must’ve wanted him up there pretty bad to even allow him to do that – and, in the process, they bought themselves a guy who it seems didn’t really want to be there in the first place.

For Hunter, home is where the heart is, and that home is in London, Ontario.

His brother coached the team this season all the way to the Memorial Cup Championship game before losing in overtime, and as a reward for all his success, he’ll be bumped by big brother Dale from the bench and relegated to being just the team’s GM. With the success Mark had, there’s little doubt he’d have trouble finding work as a head coach if he wanted it somewhere else now.

So there we are, full circle. Dale Hunter was the Capitals Head Coach from November 28th, 2011, to May 14th, 2012.

Comments (4)

  1. “(Am I allowed to be a little angry that he stepped into Ovy’s prime and cut down his minutes, seriously affecting the time I got to watch him play? This whole thing really affected me, you guys.)”

    Ovy’s prime is more like a downhill slide. You didn’t miss anything.

    • I agree. he got MORE out of Ovie cutting his minutes and the team actually performed somewhere close to expectations.

      Parking Semin helped too. I know you and Pizzo bitched about that as well on the podcasts. But why would you play a selfish one way player who hurts your team in the playoffs if he won’t actually help you win??

  2. It’s interesting that he traded on the goodwill and high regard he’s always had with the Washington organization and fanbase to, in essence, take their NHL team for an extended test drive.

    I’d call it a shabby move, except that it makes more sense that it was the Capitals that wanted this, and they finally talked him into giving it a try, with the promise that they wouldn’t rope him in long-term if he really didn’t care for it. It wouldn’t be surprising to eventually learn that Boudreau was a lame-duck for that quarter-season, essentially just waiting for Hunter to finally relent. It might explain all that tuning out that seemed to be going on with them after the 7-0 start fizzled out.

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