Edmonton Oilers ponder future of fighting after Zack Kassian injury – Edmonton

The temper in Rogers Place rapidly shifted from pleasure to fret late within the Edmonton Oilers 3-2 win over the Vancouver Canucks Thursday night time.

With slightly below 4 minutes to go, Zack Kassian squared off with Vancouver’s Zack MacEwen. Because the bout ended, the pair tumbled to the ice. Kassian, whose helmet had come off if the battle, lay immobile for a couple of seconds after his head smacked the ice.

“You simply hope he’s okay. It was good to see him up and about after the sport and see him this morning. He’s certainly one of hardest guys I’ve ever met and ever performed with. He clearly has one onerous cranium, too,” mentioned Oilers defenceman Darnell Nurse.

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Zack Kassian hurt in fight as Edmonton Oilers win over Canucks

Kassian finally bought to his ft and skated slowly off the ice. He was on the rink Friday morning, however didn’t participate in follow.

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“Bump on his head has gone this morning a bit bit. He’s feeling all proper,” mentioned head coach Dave Tippett. “I believe he’ll must go within the concussion protocols for a couple of days, and we’ll see the place issues go.”

Kassian injured his hand final February in a battle. Additionally final season, Jujhar Khaira was knocked out in a battle with Calgary’s Brett Ritchie.

Defenceman Darnell Nurse, who has 19 NHL fights below his belt, acknowledges combating will be harmful. Nevertheless, he can also’t think about hockey with out it.

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“There’s at all times a spot for it within the recreation. I believe that’s the distinctive factor about hockey is you may police yourselves with that facet of the sport,” mentioned Nurse.

“I believe there’ll at all times be a spot for it within the league and within the recreation.”

Nurse has proven a willingness to stay up for his teammates and drop the gloves over time. He additionally acknowledges, that because the staff’s primary defenceman, he’s wanted on the ice as a lot as doable.

“As a participant, there are occasions I’m going to get heated and I’m going to get in fights. It could possibly’t assist be on a regular basis. It hurts the staff extra to be within the field for these minutes,” Nurse defined.

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Although combating elevated a bit final yr with groups solely taking part in rivals inside the division, it has been on the decline. As not too long ago because the 2016-17 season, the Oilers had .43 fights per recreation. Simply two years later within the 2018-19 season, that they had .17.

“The tradition of combating is altering quite a bit,” mentioned Tippett. “There’s nonetheless some animosity that arises in the course of the recreation. Possibly someone will get hit. Possibly two guys try to spur the emotion of the sport. When you return ten or 12 years in the past, two guys in that position would battle one another simply to verify they do their position. That’s all out of the sport.

“I’d say, in some unspecified time in the future, it’ll come to the purpose the place combating received’t be allowed in hockey anymore. However we’re not there but.”

The Oilers shut out the pre-season Saturday night time in Vancouver. The sport is on 630 CHED with the Face-off Present at 5:30 p.m. The sport begins at 7 p.m.

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