A Trip Through Hockey History: Remembering the Dale Hunter Cheapshot
This Day in Sports History….
Who: Dale Hunter, Pierre Turgeon
What: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Xte-Vtxg-m8 Game 6- Patrick Division Semifinals- NY Islanders vs. Washington Capitals
Where: Nassau Coliseum, New York
When: April 28, 1993
Now for the why……
Well, quite frankly, who knows why? Let’s relive this classic moment in hockey history…
The Islanders were dominating in what would prove to be the deciding game of the series. With just over eight minutes remaining in the game, Washington forward Dale Hunter took an outlet pass from a teammate, and proceeded to turn the puck over.
Pierre Turgeon was the Islander who thought that he was putting the exclamation mark on the series victory for his team by stealing the puck and scoring to make it 5-1 Isles. In one way, Pierre was correct, he did secure the series victory for the Isles. But in another regard, Pierre was very wrong.
Hunter’s blindside attack left Turgeon with a separated shoulder, causing him to miss all but one of the Islanders’ remaining playoff games.
Dale Hunter was reprimanded by newly crowned NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman, and subsequently suspended for the first 21 games of the 1993-94 season. At the time, this was the longest suspension in league history resulting from an “on-ice incident.”
So, what became of Hunter and Turgeon?
Pierre Turgeon went on to play fifteen more seasons in the NHL, as a member of the Islanders, Canadiens, Blues, Stars, and Avalanche.
In 2005, he became the 34th player in history to join the 500 goal club, and would be selected to two more all-star games.
As for Hunter, well, his future wouldn’t be quite as bright.
He would play six more seasons for the Capitals, and one for the Avalanche before retiring at the conclusion of the 1998-99 season.
Hunter would finish his career second on the all-time penalty minute leaders list, an accomplishment which inspired the Capitals to present Hunter with his very own penalty box during the ceremony in which his #32 was retired.
Another stunning accomplishment of Mr. Hunters’ (as of 2005-06): Most playoff games played without winning a Stanley Cup—186 games.
Hunter went on to coach the London Knights in the Ontario Hockey League. During his tenure, he has been suspended on three separate occasions for a total of eight games.
Years after the ’93 incident, Hunter told a Canadian reporter that “Yeah, I went too far.”
All that being said, Turgeon ended up a 500+ goal man, Hunter ended up a hometown favorite, but just a goon everywhere else (especially on the Island).
Take your pick, but either way, April 28, 1993 was a night that I’ll never forget.
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