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Garnet Hathaway, Washington Capitals vs Anaheim Ducks, brawl video



Just as combatants were being separated in the aftermath of a heated brawl, Erik Gudbranson gave Garnet Hathaway another punch and received something he didn’t expect in return.

Hathaway spit on him and was thrown out of a feisty matchup Monday night he and the Washington Capitals won 5-2 against Gudbranson and the Anaheim Ducks.

Hathaway said he regretted the loogie that could spark further punishment from the NHL in the form of a fine or suspension, and the Ducks were spitting mad about the entire incident.

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“That’s about as low as you dig a pit, really,” Gudbranson said. “It’s a bad thing to do. It’s something you just don’t do in a game, and he did it.”

Hathaway was given a match penalty for spitting in the latter stages of the fracas late in the second period. Gudbranson got a 10-minute misconduct, Anaheim’s Nick Ritchie was also ejected for being the third man into a fight and a total of 50 penalty minutes were doled out.

“These games can get physical and they can get nasty,” Ducks coach Dallas Eakins said.

“These guys’ll throw down, drop their gloves, that stuff goes on in the game, but what I saw there I haven’t seen – I think I’ve been in pro hockey 30 years maybe – and I’ve never seen that before. It’s just something you don’t see in the game.”

After some off-and-on hostilities in the first 39 minutes, Washington’s Brendan Leipsic incited the brawl by bulldozing Anaheim’s Derek Grant just before Chandler Stephenson scored to make it 3-0 Capitals with 33.4 seconds remaining in the second. Almost all 10 skaters on the ice got involved, and Hathaway fought Gudbranson, Grant and Ritchie in a matter of minutes.

Officials were attempting to separate players when Gudbranson rabbit-punched Hathaway, who then spit in his face with referee Peter MacDougall a few feet away. Officials checked the video before confirming a five-minute match penalty and game misconduct on Hathaway for spitting, which carries an automatic ejection.

“Unfortunately, spit came out of my mouth after I got sucker punched and it went onto him,” Hathaway said.

“It has no place. It was an emotional play by me. You don’t plan any of that stuff in your head, and it was a quick reaction and unfortunately the wrong one for me to a sucker punch.”

Ducks defenseman Brendan Guhle had been agitating much of the night, almost dropping the gloves with Tom Wilson and tripping up Leipsic in various incidents. It all paved the way for the brawl.

“It just escalated,” Guhle said.

“It for sure was in the works. There were scrums all night. Guys were going after each other. That’s how it goes sometimes.”

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Bill Peters quits as Calgary Flames coach, alleged racist slurs, kicking and punching players, NHL racism



Bill Peters resigned as coach of the Calgary Flames on Friday (US time) after allegedly making racist slurs at a Nigerian-born player in the minors and kicking and punching players behind the bench during his time with Carolina.

General manager Brad Treliving said he received a resignation letter from Peters that wraps up a weeklong investigation into the veteran coach’s behaviour. He refused to discuss whether Peters would continue to be paid, saying only, “He’s no longer with the organisation.”

“We consider the matter closed,” Treliving said at a news conference in Calgary, Alberta. “It’s been a difficult time. But we are going to move forward.”

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Assistant Geoff Ward takes over as interim coach with the Flames 12-12-4 and in ninth place in the Western Conference.

Peters has not been on the ice or behind the bench with his team since former player Akim Aliu levelled the accusations of racist slurs on Twitter on Monday night.

Peters went from helping the Flames win 50 games and the Pacific Division title in his first season to perhaps having his career and future in the sport come to an abrupt end over questions about his coaching methods.

Treliving said he had been in regular communication with the NHL this week. The league on Friday said its review is still ongoing and is scheduled to meet with Aliu and others in the coming days.

The allegations about Peters began during Calgary’s 2-1 overtime loss at Pittsburgh on Monday.

Aliu alleged Peters “dropped the N bomb several times towards me in the dressing room in my rookie year because he didn’t like my choice of music.”

Anaheim Ducks’ Sheldon Brookbank, left, checks Calgary Flames’ Akim Aliu during a 2012 NHL game. (AP Photo/The Canadian Press, Jeff McIntosh, File)Source: AP

It happened during the 2009-10 season while the two were with the Chicago Blackhawks minor league affiliate in Rockford, Illinois.

“That type of behaviour just has no place,” Treliving said Friday. The allegations led to stern rebukes from team officials and the NHL even before concluding their investigations.

Treliving called the “repulsive,” and said, “This is subject matter that has no place in our organisation.” The NHL called the alleged behaviour “repugnant and unacceptable.”

In a letter addressed to Treliving, Peters said he regretted such conduct and apologised to anyone harmed by it. Aliu called Peters’ statement “misleading, insincere and concerning.”

Also this week, Hurricanes coach Rod Brind’Amour confirmed Peters physically abused his players behind the bench while in Carolina. Brind’Amour, who was a member of Peters’ staff, said “for sure that happened” in backing former Hurricanes defenseman Michal Jordan saying the coach kicked him and punched other players.

Brind’Amour said Peters abuse stopped after players and support staff voiced their concerns to team officials.

Treliving oversaw the investigation this week and spoke to Aliu at least twice, among others.

Aliu acknowledged he rebelled against Peters and said the coach eventually asked Blackhawks executives John McDonough and Stan Bowman to send him to a lower minor league level.

The Blackhawks said in a statement nothing had previously been brought to their attention regarding Peters and Aliu before Monday. The team added it had no effect on any player personnel decisions involving Aliu.

The 54-year-old Peters made the jump to Rockford after leading the Western Hockey League Spokane Chiefs to a Memorial Cup championship in 2008. Aliu played under Peters during the 2008-09 and 2009-10 seasons. He was demoted to the Toledo Walleye of the ECHL during the 2009-10 season. Aliu, who was born in Africa but raised in Ukraine and Canada, later played seven NHL games over two seasons with Calgary.

The 30-year-old Aliu has had a transient career since being selected by Chicago in the second round of the 2007 draft.

He’s not playing this season after appearing in 14 games with Orlando of the ECHL last year. The Solar Bears were Aliu’s 11th team over a six-year span, which included stops in Russia, Sweden and Slovakia.

Aliu’s tweets came after reports surfaced of how poorly Maple Leafs coach Mike Babcock dealt with his players in Toronto before he was fired several days ago. Forward Mitch Marner confirmed that during his rookie season Babcock asked him to rank Maple Leafs players in order of how hard they worked. Babcock then shared Marner’s list with numerous players.

Aliu noted Peters was Babcock’s protege.

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Nathan Walker St Louis Blues first line, Australian in NHL, ice hockey



Nathan Walker is a first line winger for the Stanley Cup Champions.

He’s played just three games for St. Louis, but with a goal and an assist to his name, Walker is now also an important cog in his team.

Let that sink in for a moment, but also, what does that actually mean?

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The top line is reserved for the best players on a hockey team – they see the most ice and are crucial to the team’s success.

To play just two games after being elevated from the minors, to being inserted into the one of three forward positions on the first line is an unconventional move.

Let’s take a quick step back – Walker is the only Australian in history to play in the National Hockey League, those familiar with the 25-year-old from New South Wales will know he has ticked off plenty of other considerable achievements.

He won the Stanley Cup with Washington in the 2017/2018 season, having made his debut and scored a goal earlier that season.

He also scored a point in the playoffs, a primary assist which line-mate Alex Chiasson buried past Pittsburgh goaltender Matt Murray – sealing a crucial win in their playoff run.

Nathan Walker holds up the Stanley Cup after being part of the Washington Capitals’ 2017-18 triumph. Photo: Harry How/Getty Images/AFPSource: AFP

Fast forward to a few days ago, and Walker finally got his call-up from the minor leagues to play an NHL game for his new team, St. Louis.

On November 29 he stuffed a puck into the net against Dallas – on his debut for the Blues – but the goal was ruled out for offside.

His parents told him not to worry, he’d just have to get one in his next game – he did, slapping a half-volley past Matt Murray of the Penguins to help the Blues to a 5-2 win over Pittsburgh.

Walker was promoted mid game against the Pens to the top line and scored straight away, earning him a ‘first star’ for his performance, akin to three Brownlow votes.

So coach Craig Berube wasn’t going to mess with the formula – come the game against Chicago, Walker remained on the top line alongside Brayden Schenn and Jayden Schwarz.

“Walker can really skate, he gets on top of people. I think he’s going to be good for that line,” Berube said.

He set up a goal for Schenn with a nifty pass, logging 14:24 minutes in ice time.

Being a first liner is a huge step up for Walker – in his time at Washington he was used a depth player and had to fight for scraps with the fourth line.

He’s a role player, which means he can be plugged into any line with any of his teammates and do his job well. That’s what makes him such a beloved teammate and an important part of his club.

The fact that for virtually his whole career he’s represented a Stanley Cup contender shows you that he’s a valuable player.

For the first time, he’s got gun players alongside him on the ice, which means he should be able to add goals and assists to his arsenal of skills – something he’s already doing.

For a man familiar with breaking new ground, this is a whole new kettle of fish for our Aussie trailblazer.

You can catch Walker and the Blues take on Pittsburgh on ESPN2 on Thursday at 12pm AEDT.

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Ice hockey fan wins $50,000 with impossible shot from opposite blue line, video



It turns out Canadians are just naturally ridiculously good at ice hockey.

A Montreal fan became $55,000 richer when he nailed an incredibly tough shot from the other side of the rink at an NHL game.

Making it all the crazier? The guy doesn’t even play hockey.

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Patrick Proteau won tickets just to be at the Canadiens v Detroit Red Wings game on Saturday, and then was plucked out of the crowd for a fan competition during the second intermission.

He had three shots at goal to win prizes, getting more and more difficult. He hit the first one, winning a mini-fridge, before missing from the middle of the rink which would’ve won him season tickets.

Then came the third shot from behind the opposing blue line – approximately three quarters of the way to the opposite goal to the one he was shooting at, basically. Making things worse, the hole in the goal he had to hit was barely bigger than the puck itself.

And yet, he nailed it, earning $50,000 Canadian dollars.

“They offered me a hockey stick, left or right?” Proteau said. “I don’t know. I don’t play hockey.”

“It was beginner’s luck. I didn’t think it was going in.

“It was going in slow motion, and then I was wondering where (the puck) went until everyone started cheering, and then my jaw dropped.”

Proteau understandably plans on taking his family on a holiday with the money, given Montreal will only get above freezing temperatures on three days over the next week.

But then being around all that snow is probably why he won the money, so it all works out in the end.

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