During his playing days, Dale Hunter was one of the most notable middleweights in the game. He didn’t hesitate to drop the gloves with anyone, and as folks have pointed out over the past few days his opponents included two of his assistant coaches on the Capitals’ staff, Dean Evason and Jim Johnson.
Johnson, who was a teammate of Hunter’s in Washington, fought him twice over the course of his career, while Evason squared off with Hunter three times in a single period during his rookie season.
On Thursday after the Capitals’ morning skate, Hunter was asked about that game on Dec. 31, 1985, when, as a member of the Quebec Nordiques, he dropped the gloves with Evason, who played for the Hartford Whalers.
“I finally gave up, he beat me up three times, so I finally gave it up,” Hunter said with a laugh. “He was a competitor; he played hard. We were in the same division so a lot of heat gets involved in these games — like tonight, a lot of heat involved. That’s the way hockey should be, emotional in the big games.”
“I think the second time, went to the faceoff circle and he asked me,” said Evason, who admitted the players started bugging them about their fight history. “Then the third time, when I came out our coach was Jack — ‘Tex” — Evans, he said you guys go to check them, I was like, ‘Oookay.’ Third time we just looked at each other, nothing said, just dropped the puck and fought.”
Sadly, there does not appear to be YouTube video of the fights between Hunter and Evason, there are however clips of one of the head coach’s bouts with Johnson. Video of Hunter and Johnson’s fight from Nov. 18, 1992, is below. (h/t Russian Machine)