From Comcast SportsNetWASHINGTON (AP) -- Dale Hunter made his Washington Capitals coaching debut in a blue suit. He had to. "It's the only one I got," he said. Hunter was behind the bench on the NHL level for the first time Tuesday night as the Capitals lost 2-1 to the St. Louis Blues. He was tabbed as the replacement for Bruce Boudreau, who was fired Monday. "I definitely have butterflies going," Hunter said before the game. "It's like the first game when you get traded." Hunter played 19 seasons in the NHL and spent the past 11 years coaching the London Knights of the Ontario Hockey League, where he wore the same suit every game. He said he plans to continue the ritual with the Capitals. "I only have to wear it two hours and a half every game," he said. So how often does he go to the dry cleaners? "I go after every game," he said with a laugh, "unless it's back-to-back." As he spoke, Hunter wore a lime green tie with blue and white diagonal stripes. Surely he must have another one, right? "Nope," he said. "Same one." Well, not quite. During the game, he sported a red tie. In contrast to his noted intensity as a player -- Hunter ranks second all time in NHL history in penalty minutes -- Hunter's meeting with reporters two hours prior to faceoff turned into a pretty good stand-up routine. Asked what has surprised him the most in the two days he's held the job, he looked back at the throng and said: "You guys." "There used to be three people here," said Hunter, recalling the sometimes scant media attention the team received when he played here from 1987-99. "That's good for the area. That's how much the Caps have won, and fans are following them and you guys are following them. That's awesome." Hunter had a reputation for playing locker room practical jokes during his playing days, but he says that's behind him -- for the most part. "I grew up," the 51-year-old Hunter said. "I'm a coach now. I don't do it to players. I might do it to coaching staff." Expect Hunter to be demanding when it counts as he handles the reins of a team that was failing to meet high expectations. "I have as a player been through some coaching changes, and it does give you a lift," he said. "It's all new. You've got a clean slate again. ... I'm an emotional guy. We're in the trenches together, the coaches and the players, and it's up to us to win."
Recently on the always-light-hearted, analytical-bending Pat McAfee Show, the former Indianapolis Colts player turned radio host weighed in on the Chicago Bears’ apparent decision to keep Mitch Trubisky under center for the upcoming season. McAfee believes it’s time the Bears climb back into relevancy by replacing Trubisky with former-MVP Cam Newton:
If I was the Chicago Bears, I would be trying to get Cam Newton. What's the worst that could happen? He stinks? You guys stink anyways.
With a “what do you have to lose?” mantra, McAfee believes that the Bears should trade out Trubisky for the Panthers' star. Cam Newton is not a free agent, however; it's possible his time with the Panthers could be up, as it's been heavily-rumored that they'll trade him away this offseason. Newton was sidelined most of the 2019 season with back-to-back injuries, first in his shoulder, then his ankle. If they trade away Newton, the Panthers could allot the money to rebuilding their team around one of the league’s best running backs, Christian McCaffery.
Coach Joel Quenneville has quite a legacy in Chicago. During his 10 years as Blackhawks coach, he won three Stanley Cups after a near 50 year drought. After being fired on November 6, 2018 following a five game losing streak, Coach Q is now the head coach of the Florida Panthers (27-16-5), who are third in the Atlantic Division. NBC Sports Chicago's Blackhawks Insider Charlie Roumeliotis got the chance to sit down with Coach Q for an exclusive interview upon his return to Chicago to face his former team.
Watch Coach Q address the media ahead of the Chicago Blackhawks matchup against the Florida Panthers at the United Center.