First-year pro Patrick Wey hit Nashville Predators facepuncher extraordinairre Rich Clune along the benches on Sunday night. That was obviously unacceptable per the rules of gentlemanly conduct, so Clune challenged Wey to a fight and then knocked him out.
Clune has dropped the gloves 166 times in his career, 16 times this season alone. Wey has been in a fight just once, in 2009, while he played in the USHL.
Wey laid on the ice for about a minute before woozily skating off the ice with the help of a Capitals trainer.
Wey left the game. The Capitals announced he would not return.
Unsurprisingly, Clune, the Predators’ penalty-minute leader, seemed quite happy with himself after the “fight,” while fans, announcers, and players all wondered exactly what they just watched.
Among them: Tom Wilson.
From the Capitals bench, Wilson watched Clune bleeding in the penalty box. Check this out:
Wilson nodded as if to say, “Yes, we will be fighting later. You will not enjoy it.”
Later in the period, Wilson had an opportunity to take his beef directly to Clune. They shared an animated conversation between the benches, flanked by officials.
At the end of the first, Wilson checked Clune into the boards hard and asked him to drop the gloves. Clune did not oblige.
During the first intermission, Troy Brouwer spoke to CSN color commentator Craig Laughlin. Brouwer explained why he thought Clune crossed the line and broke the code. “It’s a tough situation to be in,” Brouwer said. “Weysie wants to prove himself, he wants to make an impact in there, but Clune’s gotta know who he’s fighting and realize that if it’s a mismatch he’s gotta have enough respect for the other guy and the other team to settle down and not engage.”
Clune did not do that. He also did not fight Wilson when invited. That’s why he’s chickenshit.