On this day in 1993, the Islanders were dominating the Washington Capitals in what would be the final game of the Patrick Division Finals. With New York up 4-1 in the game and 3-2 in the series, Islander Pierre Turgeon stole the puck from the Caps' Dale Hunter and scored. While Turgeon was celebrating his goal, Hunter delivered one of the most infamous cheap shots in hockey history, destroying Turgeon from behind.
Hunter's blindside hit left Turgeon with a dislocated shoulder that essentially ruined the Islanders chances to win the Stanley Cup that season. New York was, unfortunately, still healthy enough to defeat the Penguins in overtime of game 7 the following round. Damn you David Volek.
Newly crowned NHL commissioner Gary Bettman wasted little time reprimanding Hunter, who was suspended for the first 21 games of the following season. It was the longest suspension in NHL history resulting from an "on-ice incident."
When Dale Hunter retired in 1999, he had the second most penalty minutes in NHL history. The Washington Capitals retired his number and presented him with a commemorative penalty box during his number retirement ceremony. What a garage league move. But we shouldn't be surprised, this is the same franchise and fanbase that thinks Tom Wilson is a great guy.
Wesley Uhler is the host of Steelers Blitz, Noon-2 on Steelers Nation Radio, and a Producer for ESPN Pittsburgh. You can find him on Twitter @WesleyUhler.
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