Only three coaches in OHL history have won 800 career contests, and Dale Hunter is now one of them.
The London Knights bench boss joined elite OHL coaching company in Brian Kilrea (1,194 wins) and Bert Templeton (907 wins) on Thursday as the Knights defeated the Windsor Spitfires 6-3 on Sportsnet, getting a goal and two assists from both Luke Evangelista and Nathan Dunkley.
Hunter’s 28-13-1-1 Knights are riding a four-game winning streak and sit two points back of the Kitchener Rangers for first place in the Midwest Division.
A 59-year-old from Petrolia, Ont., Hunter has coached the Knights over parts of 19 seasons dating back to 2001-02. In that span, he’s compiled an OHL regular season coaching record of 800-322-68 with 17 ties, good for the League’s best-ever winning percentage of .698. He’s guided the Knights to Memorial Cup championships in 2005 and 2016 along with OHL titles in 2005, 2012, 2013 and 2016.
The former 19-year NHL veteran and three-time OHL Coach of the Year added to his decorated coaching resume by guiding Canada’s National Junior Team to a gold medal finish in Ostrava, Czech Republic earlier this month.
Throughout his time in London, Hunter has aided in the development of eventual NHL standouts in Corey Perry (Dallas Stars), Patrick Kane (Chicago Blackhawks), Mitch Marner (London Knights) and Matthew Tkachuk (Calgary Flames) among several others.