This is a wild one. The Rockford Ice Hogs, affiliate of the Chicago Blackhawks, and Chicago Wolves, affiliate of the St. Louis Blues (weird, I know), are pretty solid rivals. They've had some serious dustups over the years, but Friday night's contest may take the cake and that's really saying something.
Rockford's Bobby Shea crushed Wolves forward Ty Rattie with a high hit and there must have been something going on between those two because Shea immediately dropped the gloves and started throwing punches.
Rattie needed to be escorted off the ice by an athletic trainer with an apparent injury and Shea was sent to the dressing room as well. Things didn't end there, however.
As Shea and Rattie were walking to their dressing rooms, something set the Rockford player off. Shea was still upset. Considering there's about 15 feet between the two runways of rubber for the players to walk on, Shea actually dove to the floor and crawled across to the other side to go after the injured Rattie.
Police stayed between the two and kept them separated and it looked like they had to really get tough with Shea, who was restrained by multiple officers.
The police actually remained in the tunnel for the rest of the game to ensure nothing like that happened as the teams were headed back onto the ice. So that's kind of insane.
Paul LaTour of the Chicago Tribune spoke with Rattie after the game:
“That was something else,” Rattie said. “He crawled. I don't know why he crawled. He could have just walked across. It was weird. He got me with one (punch) and the cops jumped in.”
The AHL is probably going to have to have quite a conversation with Mr. Shea after that one.
Shea received a major and game misconduct for elbowing, another major for fighting and a second game misconduct for “fighting off the playing surface.” Rattie, a top Blues prospect, received merely a five-minute major for fighting, since that was about all he deserved.
Don't see that every day.
UPDATE: Bobby Shea has been suspended eight games by the AHL for fighting off the playing surface and for the elbow he delivered to Ty Rattie before the fight.
The league also suspended Jared Nightingale of the IceHogs six games for leaving the bench for the purpose of starting a fight in Friday night's contest.