Hunter's frugality legendary

Dennis Wideman and fellow ex-Knight John Carlson have been fielding a lot of questions from curious...

Dennis Wideman and fellow ex-Knight John Carlson have been fielding a lot of questions from curious teammates who want to know what makes Dale Hunter tick. (QMI Agency file photo)

RYAN PYETTE, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 7:22 PM ET

WASHINGTON, D.C. - Call it what you want – superstition or frugality.

One thing Dale Hunter brought with him from London to Washington is his single-minded sense of fashion.

The blue suit he donned in the Knights’ 2-1 victory over Brampton on Sunday – the predictable threads he has worn for years at the John Labatt Centre – is the same one he brought along for his NHL coaching debut against the St. Louis Blues Tuesday night at the Verizon Center.

“Same suit,” Hunter said with a grin. “I only have one.”

Capitals defenceman Dennis Wideman, the former Knight, was hardly surprised.

“Are you kidding,” he said. “Nooooo way. Dale came here with one jacket, one shirt, one tie.

“There’s no way he’s getting another one. I know that much.”

Wideman and fellow ex-Knight John Carlson have been fielding a lot of questions from curious teammates who want to know what makes Hunter tick.

“He likes to joke around, even at the rink,” Wideman said. “He’s a fun guy to be around and everyone will see that. But when the game is to be played, it’s time to get down to work. You have to approach the game with the proper mindset.

“I know Dale, but I had him early in his coaching career. I’m sure he’s changed and grown as a coach since then.

“He and Mark (Hunter) did a lot for me in my career, but right now, he’s the boss and this is a business.”

Carlson attended the Knights’ annual golf tournament in August. He had no way of knowing a few months later his old coach would become his new one.

“I’m not going to lie and say I never imagined it would happen,” the big defenceman said. “I know Dale’s wanted this for a long time and I’m happy he got the opportunity here.

“I’m excited to play for him again. I had a great time (in 2008-09) and learned a lot from him. He’s an innovative guy, he had me (up front on the power play) and we’ll find out what kinds of things he’ll do with this team.”

When Hunter was named coach Monday, one of the first phone calls Capitals forward Jason Chimera received was from former Columbus Blue Jackets teammate Rick Nash.

“Rick told me what a good coach Dale was and I was asking him about what it’s like to play for him,” he said. “He said all good things and the success he had coaching in junior, it does carry weight (with NHL veterans).

“What we all knew of him was he went to London and turned them into one of the best organizations in junior hockey, which is impressive. Everyone you talk to who played there, you never hear a bad word about their experience with the Knights.”

E-mail ryan.pyette@sunmedia.ca or follow RyanatLFPress on Twitter.


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