Monday's HOT MIC
An old joke from the 1980s: " I went to a fight and a hockey game broke out." Fighting almost ruined professional hockey in that decade. Every team had one or two players who couldn't skate, couldn't shoot, couldn't pass, and couldn't score, but who excelled in the pugilistic arts on the ice.
The NHL mostly put an end to the thuggish behavior and the "enforcers" and bullies were almost tamed.
There is still fighting in pro hockey today but the penalties for mixing it up make them much rarer. So, it's not news when a hockey fight breaks out, even in Austria where a lot of failed American pros end up trying to earn a living before their bodies give out.
Hockey fights may not be news -- except when they happen during a TV interview between periods. That's what happened at a professional game in Austria just prior to an interview with two players from opposing teams.
Intermission interviews during hockey games are usually benign, with players giving cliché comments before waddling off to the dressing room. But in Austria's Erste Bank Eishockey Liga on Sunday, the intermission report was anything but ordinary, as a chaotic fight broke out between Chris DeSousa of HC Bolzano and Tom Zanoski of Medvescak Zagreb during a live television interview.
Zanoski, a 33-year-old winger who played in the Carolina Hurricanes' system, was about to be interviewed on Servus TV when he and DeSousa, a former Chicago Blackhawks prospect, started trading stick jabs, including one that appeared to strike the intermission reporter.
Both players are old school, classic enforcers, piling up penalty minutes for fighting and rough play through their minor league careers.
The incident cost both players and their teams:
Zanoski and DeSousa were both given fighting majors and game misconduct penalties at 20:00 of the second period, and five other players were given roughing minors. There's no word yet on supplemental discipline from the league for this off-ice incident.
Check out this list of the top 10 hockey enforcers of all time.