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The Hockey Hall of Fame recently inducted the Class of 2013. Each induction causes Capitals fans to harken back to one magical season when the Caps' roster boasted five future Hall of Famers over the course of the campaign.
As the 1988-89 season began, the Capitals could claim four future Hall of Fame members in Mike Gartner, Rod Langway (pictured, right), Scott Stevens (pictured, left) and Larry Murphy, who had been with the team since the 1979-80, 1982-83, 1982-83 and 1983-84 seasons, respectively.
At the trade deadline, Washington made a deal with the Minnesota North Stars that sent two future HOFers in Gartner and Murphy to Minneapolis for the fifth future HOFer to play for the Caps that season, Dino Ciccarelli.
Thanks to that trade, the Caps were down to three future Hall of Famers on the roster by the end of the 1988-89 season, and that number did not stay that way for long. Stevens was gone by the end of the 1989-90 season, Ciccarelli left after the 1991-92 season and Langway retired in 1992-93. The only other Hall of Fame member the Capitals can claim during their history is Adam Oates, who played from 1997-2002.
Dale Hunter and Peter Bondra have yet to be inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame, and chances are they will not receive that honor. Both of their tenures in Washington overlapped with multiple HOFers, as Hunter played in Washington from 1987-1999, and Bondra played from 1990-2004. Until and unless these two are inducted, Capitals fans will have to look back to the 1988-89 season as the one year in franchise history with the greatest concentration of hockey royalty.