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Dale Hunter doesn’t sound like the world’s greatest communicator

Mar 9, 2012, 4:41 PM EDT

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From CSN Washington’s Chuck Gormley, more anecdotal evidence that all is not well in D.C.:

[Roman] Hamrlik and [John] Erskine have not been the happiest players in the Capitals locker room the past several weeks, and both said they have not spoken to Hunter since they were pulled from the lineup.

Asked if Hunter had talked to him much lately, Erskine replied: “Who? Dale? He hasn’t talked to me one little bit. I talk to [assistant coaches] Deano [Evason] and Jimmy Johnson here and there, but that’s about it.”

Erskine said Hunter has not spoken to him since Jan. 18, when he took a double-minor for high sticking and a minor for elbowing all on the same play. He was a healthy scratch the following game.

According to my math, Hunter and Erskine haven’t said a word to each other in 51 days.

They might as well get married.

  1. danphipps01 - Mar 9, 2012 at 4:59 PM

    Don’t worry, Erskine. At this rate, Hunter won’t have a job by the end of the next 51. Firing Bruce is looking like a REAL smart decision, eh?

    • ikillchicken - Mar 9, 2012 at 5:30 PM

      It WAS a smart decision. It just wasn’t smart to hire Hunter as the replacement.

      • danphipps01 - Mar 9, 2012 at 5:41 PM

        I’d believe you if Anaheim hadn’t been explosive since the All-Star break. They can’t make the playoffs, realistically speaking, but it’s hard to bounce back when you’ve already dug yourself so deep. Bruce is trying to make it happen as best he can and he’s producing great results down there. He held the Capitals up last year and he probably would have ended up winning the Southeast yet again this year instead of struggling mightily to even make the playoffs. Face it – Bruce carried this team.

      • dowhatifeellike - Mar 9, 2012 at 5:59 PM

        The Capitals went from having their manager ignored by the players to having their players ignored by the manager.

        Bruce is a good manager, as evidenced by his success with Anaheim, but he still had to go. You can be the greatest thinker to ever think, but if your players don’t listen to you, it matters not. The players had stopped listening so he had to go.

    • alexb64 - Mar 9, 2012 at 7:34 PM

      Yeah I have to agree with the idea that it was still a smart decision but replacing him with Hunter made the decision foolish. Part of the reason things are working for Bruce in Anaheim is he’s not doing what he did in Washington towards the end, which is taking away what his team does best in favor of a style of hockey that the roster simply isn’t built for, which unfortunately for Caps’ fans Hunter has continued. I think sometimes a coach just needs to accept what his roster is & get the most out of them & what they CAN do and not what he’d like them to do. Tortorella realizes pretty quick in New York that an organization full mostly of grinders was never going to light the lamp like his teams did in Tampa, so he went to a system that emphasizes defense & smart, low risk offense. You can even look in other sports, Brian Billick was an offensive coach all his career & he got to Baltimore hoping to turn them into an offensive powerhouse, after a little time of trying to make lemonade out of rocks, he decided to just embrace the rocks for what they were & built the team around the defense. Caps were a great offensive team that struggled on the defensive end, then Boudreu decided to turn them into a mediocre defensive team that struggled to score.

  2. sportsfreak13 - Mar 9, 2012 at 5:24 PM

    That last line was great!(“they might as well get married”). I forget who on here called hunter a great leader but great leaders don’t give their players the silent treatment. That is the difference between coaching kids and men. Same techniques don’t work for both. Adapt or get lost in the shuffle.

    • bcjim - Mar 9, 2012 at 7:23 PM

      Pfft. How old are you, noob? Did you ever see DH play?

      Look, I like Erskine but he is a 5/6D, whether he plays or not is irrelevant unless there is a fight, then he is a “1D” :-)

      I hope they work it out and I don’t know why DH is so down on him but it is a nonfactor in the global scheme. As for Hammer…dude, play better. Stop putting the puck over the glass and getting delay of game calls.

      • sportsfreak13 - Mar 9, 2012 at 7:41 PM

        being a great player doesnt mean your automatically a good coach. Bylsma was a 4th line grinder yet won coach of the year last year.

  3. cerowb - Mar 9, 2012 at 8:01 PM

    Oh Dale Hunter…never did have any class.

    Yup…smart decision making this guy the “leader” of your team.

  4. ksallis - Mar 9, 2012 at 11:26 PM

    to many euros with to much cash….this is what u get, half hearted hockey!

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