Tim Hunter played 16 seasons in the NHL with the Calgary Flames, Quebec Nordiques, Vancouver Canucks, and San Jose Sharks. Chosen in the 3rd round of the 1979 NHL Entry Draft (#54 overall) by the Atlanta Flames, Hunter was on the Flames' 1989 Stanley Cup championship team, and also appeared in the Stanley Cup Finals in 1986 with Calgary and in 1994 with Vancouver. During his playing days, Hunter was known for his fierce style of play, ranking him among hockey's unwritten list of elite enforcers during the 1980s and 1990s. When he wasn’t taking penalties, he was also known as a quality defensive player and penalty killer.

In 1997, after 815 games, Hunter retired from hockey.  He was named as an assistant coach for the Washington Capitals on July 23, 1997, and remained in that position until 2002 when he joined as the assistant coach of the San Jose Sharks. In 2008, he joined the Toronto Maple Leafs coaching staff and spent the next 3 seasons with the Leafs before being re-hired as an assistant coach of the Capitals on July 23, 2012. Hunter's contract in Washington was not renewed for 2013, and after being linked to several coaching positions in the WHL, he was named as head coach of Moose Jaw Warriors of the Western Hockey League (WHL) in July 2014 where he served in the position until 2020.

These days, he lends his time to the Calgary Police Youth Foundation, the Flames First Start program, the Flames Alumni Hockey School, Heros Hockey, the Canadian Down Syndrome Society, the Canadian Cystic Fibrosis Association, The 65 Roses Sports Club, and Rehabilitation Association of Calgary. In 2023, he was inducted into the Alberta Hockey Hall of Fame.