Dale Hunter grew up in Petrolia, Ontario, about an hour and 30 minutes from Toronto. But he didn’t root for the Maple Leafs.
“I liked Boston/Philly in them days,” the Washington Capitals’ coach said. “They played pretty aggressive, I guess.”
And they won a lot during Hunter’s formative years. The Boston Bruins captured the Stanley Cup in 1970 and ‘72 and the Philadelphia Flyers in ‘74 and ‘75. But that was a long time and a 19-year NHL career ago.
Hunter faced no teams more than the Flyers and Pittsburgh Penguins, including 60-plus regular-season games against each and countless times in the playoffs. And though he grew up admiring the Flyers’ Broad Street Bullies teams, he had 214 penalty minutes against Philadelphia just in the regular season.
Tuesday night will be his first chance to coach against the Flyers – the same franchise whose 1987-88 season he ended with one of the most iconic goals in Capitals history.
“It’s been on with the Caps and the Flyers for a long time. Looking forward to it,” Hunter said. “The competition is what makes you go. And we’re ready to compete.”