On Sunday afternoon, the Rockford IceHogs, AHL affiliate of the Chicago Blackhawks, engaged in a spectacular brawl with the Chicago Wolves at Allstate Arena in Rosemont.
In case you missed it, here is a video of the carnage:
On Tuesday afternoon, the AHL handed down suspensions in the aftermath of the incident. IceHogs forwards Jeremy Morin and Wade Brookbank, as well as defenseman Shawn Lalonde, were each suspended for one game for their roles in the fracas. Wolves defenseman Adam Polasek, who was penalized for leaving the bench during the melee, was suspended for three games, and will miss all three tilts for Chicago this weekend.
Polasek very well could have been suspended for longer, according to an interesting tweet from Stephen Nelson:
In our recap of the incident, we called for suspensions not only for Morin, but also for Wolves winger Guillaume Desbiens, who hit Hogs forward Ben Smith from behind into the bench area and started the whole fight. In addition, it appears that Tim Miller of the Wolves leaves the bench as well, but odds are that the AHL decided, much like the NHL did in the Ryane Clowe incident in a game between the Blackhawks and San Jose Sharks, that Miller left the bench on a “line change” and therefore shouldn’t have been punished.
Ironically, the rivalry between the Hawks and the Vancouver Canucks, the Wolves’ parent club, that added a bit of intrigue to this incident could be coming to an end in relatively short order. According to various reports, the Wolves will end up being the affiliate of the St. Louis Blues in a big-time shuffle of teams. The Canucks, meanwhile, would take over the Peoria Rivermen from the Blues, and move them to Abbotsford in the province of Alberta in Canada. Finally, the Abbotsford Heat, the Calgary Flames affiliate, will move to Utica, New York for next season.
All of that is just speculation at this point, but this rivalry could take on a new wrinkle if the Blues were to take up residence in the Windy City. Maybe we’ll get more crazy brawls like this one: