It took a little-known Swiss goaltender named Joren Van Pottleberghe to bring together the two principal characters of one of the most infamous incidents the game has ever seen.
It was shortly after the draft and the Detroit Red Wings had just selected Van Pottleberghe in the fourth round. Kris Draper, an executive with the Red Wings, was in the lobby in his hotel in South Florida and he was approached by Claude Lemieux, the agent for Van Pottleberghe. The two had a rather awkward conversation about Lemieux’s client for a couple of minutes and Lemieux went on his way.
“I wasn’t going to bring it up,” Draper said, “and he wasn’t going to bring it up. It was basically him as an agent and me as a Red Wings executive talking hockey.”
Is there anything more hockey than the Gordie Howe hat trick? A goal, an assist and a fight is one solid night’s work and New Jersey Devils rookie Sergey Kalinin is the latest NHLer to pull off the feat as part of the Devils’ 5-2 win over the rival New York Rangers last night:
Anaheim Ducks winger Chris Stewart is a tough customer. No one would question that. The only problem for Stewart is Columbus Blue Jackets defenseman Dalton Prout is just as tough, and he can pack one solid punch. Stewart may have found that out the hard way.
During Thursday night’s tilt between the Ducks and Blue Jackets, Prout and Stewart got into a tussle as the second period came to a close. The fight, which lasted about 30 seconds, saw both combatants land a number of good shots, but you can see Stewart start saying something to Prout after he lands a solid shot around the 36-second mark. The fight broke up shortly thereafter and both men headed off the ice: Read more
Even as the regular season resumes, the hockey world is still buzzing over John Scott’s all-star weekend. Voted in by fans at least partly on the assumption that he’d be embarrassed by the 3-on-3 format, Scott instead scored a pair of nifty goals and earned MVP honors in a scene straight out of a movie script.
It all made for a great feel-good story. But maybe we shouldn’t have been quite so shocked. After all, Scott’s not the first NHL tough guy to step outside of his comfort zone and deliver an impressive performance. The enforcer role may be fading from the NHL, but the guys who’ve done the job over the years have a long history of being surprisingly multi-talented.
So for this week’s top five, let’s go beyond the All-Star Game and look at some other areas where NHL tough guys unexpectedly made their presence felt.
The Anaheim Ducks laid several types of beatings on the Boston Bruins last night. The most obvious was on the scoreboard, where The Flock came away with a 6-2 road victory. On a more individualized basis, there was also the mismatched fight between Anaheim’s Chris Stewart and Boston’s Torey Krug.
Stewart comes in at 6-foot-2, 231 pounds. Krug, an offensive defenseman, is 5-foot-9 and 186 pounds. Here’s what happens when those combinations of atoms collide:
A fight in the AHL nearly turned disastrous Tuesday night as San Diego Gulls winger and veteran bruiser Brian McGrattan was knocked out cold and slammed face first into the ice.
The fight, which occurred less than four minutes into the second period, ended when San Antonio Rampage winger Daniel Maggio connected with a right hand that stunned McGrattan. The punch caused McGrattan to fall to the ice without the ability to stop his head from crashing into the ice. As soon as he fell to the ice, he laid motionless with players from the Gulls, Rampage and referees on the ice signalling for immediate help: Read more
Anyone who prefers on-ice justice to the official, league-mandated kind of justice can rejoice at what happened Monday night between the Edmonton Oilers and Florida Panthers.
On Jan. 10 Oilers left winger Matt Hendricks caught the Florida Panthers’ Aaron Ekblad with a hit from behind. Ekblad returned to the game but wound up in concussion protocol and was forced out of the lineup the following night. He hasn’t played since, though he’s expected to return later this week.
Hendricks earned a three-game suspension for the hit but returned just in time for his Oilers to face the Panthers again Monday. It didn’t take a genius to know what was coming, though it was hardly the Claude Lemieux treatment for Hendricks, who stood tall. Rugged Panthers defenseman Erik Gudbranson, all 6-foot-5 and 216 pounds of him, challenged the six-foot, 207-pound Hendricks. Fists flew just 4:16 into the game. Check it out:
The post-game scrum between the Florida Panthers and Vancouver Canucks this past Monday was a rarity in today’s NHL. And while fans may have eaten it up, there were almost certainly a few at the league office who were none too pleased with the dustup. If the league was upset at all, though, maybe they can take solace in the fact the brawl didn’t get as out of hand as one between two Russian amateur league clubs.
This insane battle between two teams — a rough translation has the team in black called Hammer and team in white called Yugan — comes from Moscow’s Night Hockey League this past Friday. It all started thanks to a hit by Hammer’s Andrew Revkov on Yugan’s Vladimir Chernyshev that caused a line “brawl” consisting of gloved punches. Standard stuff, really, and nothing out of the ordinary. We see scrums like this at least once a week.
The two teams eventually relent and head to their benches. Brawl over, right? Not even close. Watch and wait for things to get out of control in a hurry around the 1:45 mark: Read more