Here to tell the story about my brother Chris and I meeting Dale Hunter is our dad, Andy Mottram.
I don’t remember the year (late ’80s/early ’90s), but it was a signing event at the Roy Rogers restaurant on Little River Turnpike in Fairfax. At that time Roy Rogers was one of the main sponsors for the Caps. Seems like it was middle of the day. Not much of a crowd. Not sure I really knew who he was at the time other than some guy that liked to mix it up a little.
As I recall when I saw him I was very surprised at how small he appeared –- maybe 5’10” and 200 lbs. He was just sitting at a table talking to people and handing out autographed pucks. Don’t remember it as being anything special at the time, because I really didn’t know much about him. But after that he became one of my favorite players.
Loved the way he played with that half-crazed look on his face and no fear whatsoever. I remember one time, I think it was a playoff game in NY against either the Islanders or the Rangers, where the goalie comes out of the net to play a puck and Hunter comes flying in full speed and just runs him over. The crowd went crazy and all of the other team’s players just piled on Hunter. I think Hunter got a game misconduct, but it fired the Caps up to win the game.
(I probably don’t have many of these facts correct, but that’s how I remember Hunter).
Of the current Caps, Matt Hendricks could be the closest thing to Hunter, but he is a better scorer and doesn’t have the reckless style of play.
Chris was happy because he got the large roast beef with the large fries (I don’t know if he remembers getting a puck). Not sure where the pucks went to, probably in one of the boxes labeled “Chris’ Stuff” in the work room.
(Ed. note: Mine is in a shoebox at Grandma’s. The portrait and card Hunter also signed that day are with me, pictured above. My dad is a great dad.)