Prior to Washington’s 4-3 OT loss to Carolina on Tuesday night, a group of Capitals fans dubbed Knuble’s Knights flashed their “Scratch Hunter” signs — referring to Caps head coach Dale Hunter, who has made veteran alternate captain Mike Knuble a healthy scratch several times this season.
The signs caused quite a stir and were eventually taken down by Verizon Center staff — but they shouldn’t have been, according to Capitals owner Ted Leonsis.
Here is the short, simple truth: A couple of players saw a sign at ice level during warm-ups that they felt was disrespectful toward our coach. One of the players asked one of the bench personnel to see if he could get them to take it down. One of our arena employees thought he was being helpful, and asked the fans to take it down. By the accounts that have been shared with me, the fans were cordial and respectful.
In actuality, the sign did not violate any of our policies (e.g., profanity, political, commercialism or obstruction) and should have been permitted.
In related news, I just bought Apr. 8 in the “When will Hunter go back to junior?” pool.