July 23, 2014

CAPS: Fans Welcome Back a Legend

Tuesday, November 29, 2011 is a day Dale Hunter will never forget. He stood behind the Washington Capitals bench in a suit and tie as the new Head Coach, his first NHL coaching job.

Dale “Big Game” Hunter is a legend in Washington, DC. Hunter played in a Washington Capitals uniform from 1987-1999, including wearing a “C” on his sweater for five of those years. He is also one of only four players to have their numbers retired by the Caps. Hunter’s number 32 was retired by the team on March 11, 2000.

Most fans do not hold Bruce Boudreau responsible for the problems with the Caps recent play and wish him well. However, knowing that the team is now in the hands of a “legend” has made the transition easier for some fans. There was definitely a showing of support for Hunter with signs, jerseys and a standing ovation after the video montage early in the first period.

Caps New Head Coach Dale Hunter behind the bench for his first NHL game (Photo by Cheryl Nichols)

We spotted several fans wearing Dale Hunter #32 Washington Capitals jerseys at his first game as an NHL Head Coach.

Caps fan rocking the old school Dale Hunter jersey (Photo by Cheryl Nichols)

Fan wearing Dale Hunter jersey (Photo by Cheryl Nichols)

Fan wearing Dale Hunter jersey (Photo by Cheryl Nichols)

Signs made fans and displayed them during pre-game warmups and throughout the game.

Welcome back Dale Hunter signs during warmups (Photo by Cheryl Nichols)

Fans welcome Hunter and ask Caps to bring back Peter Bondra too (Photo by Cheryl Nichols)

Washington Capitals Welcome Back Dale Hunter (Photo by Cheryl Nichols)

The Washington Capitals did a nice tribute on the big screen early in the first period. I tried to snap a few photos for fans not able to attend. They are not the best, but you get the idea…..

Dale Hunter's #32 was retired in 2000 and banner hangs from rafters at Verizon Center (Photo by Cheryl Nichols)

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