- Texas man arrested for powder-letter hoax
- Islamic State opens ‘marriage bureau’ for single jihadists
- Drone almost blocks California firefighting planes
- Tornado rips off roofs, downs trees near Boston
- GOP: Environmental rules keeping agents from accessing border
- John Kerry: Millions displaced by religious fighting in 2013
- Federal appeals court rules against Virginia’s gay marriage ban
- White House says Russia ‘losing’ war in Ukraine
- Hamas turns to North Korea for weapons deal, Iran for money
- Syrian casualties surge as jihadis consolidate
Turgeon: ‘No grudge’ against Hunter
Recipient of brutal 1993 hit wishes new Caps coach well
Question of the Day
When hockey fans think of Dale Hunter the player, two images come to mind: His series-clinching goal against the Philadelphia Flyers in 1988 and his post-whistle hit on Pierre Turgeon of the New York Islanders in 1993. Turgeon had just beaten Don Beaupre for the Islanders‘ fifth goal in Game 6, a goal that essentially eliminated the Caps from the playoffs, when Hunter blindsided him with a hit during the celebration.
Turgeon missed the first six games of the Islanders‘ next series with a separated shoulder, and Hunter was suspended the first 21 games of the 1993-94 season for the incident. At that time, it was the longest suspension ever handed out by the NHL.
But now, more than 18 years later, the man on the wrong side of the hit said he has moved on and hopes his old adversary succeeds as Caps coach.
“That situation could’ve been a little different, but those things happen, and it happened. Then you move on. There’s no grudge. I’m not holding anything against Dale,” Turgeon said Tuesday in a phone interview from his home in Colorado. “The only thing I could say is I wish him the best with Washington.”
Turgeon kept playing even longer than Hunter, retiring in September 2007 after 19 NHL seasons and 1,327 career points. He said he hadn’t talked to Hunter about the play since a conversation two days afterward.
At the time, it was a scary situation. Caps color analyst Craig Laughlin recalled wondering if the Caps were going to be able to get out of Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum without physical harm amid the intense reaction from the Islanders and their fans.
“It was like one of those crazy wrestling matches,” Laughlin said. “And I remember the bus — we got pelted with rocks. We got pushed. It was like a scene from ‘Slap Shot.’ “
At the time, Hunter said he was “just trying to finish my check. … I’m sorry he got hurt. I’d take it back if I could.”
Turgeon, now 42, prefers to think about those 1993 playoffs for what the Islanders were able to accomplish, reaching the Wales Conference finals before losing to the eventual Stanley Cup-champion Montreal Canadiens.
“We had such a great year, a great playoff run,” Turgeon said. “Obviously the Dale Hunter situation was there. But at the same time, everything we did that year and the chemistry we had in the locker room and how close we were as a team was a lot of fun.”
Turgeon’s job now is as an assistant coach for his 15-year-old son, Dominic, with the Colorado Thunderbirds hockey team, and he spends time watching his 19-year-old daughter, Alexandra, play volleyball at University of Denver and his 13-year-old daughter, Valerie, play hockey for Colorado Select. His 18-year-old daughter, Elizabeth, was killed in a car accident in December 2010.
That tragedy has led Turgeon to reassess priorities and spend more time with his family.
“I follow my kids everywhere,” he said. “I think I’m busier now than when I played.”
All of that has contributed, along with time, to Turgeon putting the incident with Hunter well into his past.
“There’s a lot more important things in my life right now,” Turgeon said. “We’ve been through a lot with our family, and there’s things that you just move on with your life.”
© Copyright 2014 The Washington Times, LLC. Click here for reprint permission.
About the Author
- WHYNO: Tomas Vokoun gets unexpected Stanley Cup shot with Penguins
- Brandon Meriweather, Redskins' secondary ready for bounceback year
- Kirk Cousins embraces role as Redskins' offseason starter as RG3 rehabs from injury
- Capitals notes: Realignment won't prompt roster remake
- Despite Caps' first-round playoff exit, Adam Oates' first season as coach left a positive taste
Latest Blog Entries
- Redskins injury updates (5/23): WR Pierre Garcon, CB Josh Wilson each had labrum surgery
- Capitals 'love' Matt Hendricks, but how much?
- Wojtek Wolski signs in Russia's Kontinental Hockey League
- Tom Poti won't return to Capitals, plans to continue his NHL career
- Is Tom Wilson ready to be a regular for Capitals?
By David Keene
Allowing states to innovate could reduce dependency on bureaucracy
- D.C. seeks to stay judge's order allowing gun owners to carry in public
- Illegal immigrants demand representation in White House meetings
- Hillary Clinton: Forget Obama, George W. Bush made her 'proud to be an American'
- Iraqi Christians rally at White House: 'Obama, Obama, where are you?'
- Romney would win popular vote in rematch against Obama: CNN poll
- Tennessee Gov. Haslam slams White House for secret dump of illegals in his state
- White House defends Kerry failure to broker Middle East cease-fire
- Babson College, BYU win top spots in Money magazine's college rankings
- Russia violating 1987 nuclear missile treaty
- NAPOLITANO: What if our democracy is a fraud?
Obama's biggest White House 'fails'
Celebrities turned politicians
Athletes turned actors
20 gadgets that changed the world
Fighting in Iraq