On Sunday, Nashville forward Rich Clune — he of the 32 career NHL fights — took on Caps rookie Patrick Wey, who had exactly one scrap on his resume…which came while playing junior in the USHL five years ago.
Needless to say, things didn’t go well for Wey:
Wey left with an apparent head injury and didn’t return. Following the game, Washington took issue with the fact such a seasoned fighter as Clune took on an inexperienced opponent, though the Caps players and coaches did acknowledge Wey was a willing participant.
“They had a little tangle before the fight and they were talking to each other a bit and Weysie seemed to be a willing combatant,” Troy Brouwer said, per the Washington Post. “But at the same point guys who are known to be fighters, they have to have enough respect to pick their spots to know when guys are able to fight fighters.”
“I’m surprised the guy [Clune] would do that,” added head coach Adam Oates. “But they had contact, they kind of looked each other in the eye and Patrick also didn’t back down.”
Following the tilt, Caps rookie Tom Wilson — Washington’s fighting leader this year, with 13 — tried to engage Clune in a second tilt in order to force Clune “to defend his actions,” but the Preds tough guy declined.
That decision also drew the Caps’ ire, and one has to wonder if the pair’s history had anything to do with it. Clune and Wilson had previously fought this season on Dec. 7, which Wilson won in a clear decision (93.3 percent, per the voters over at HockeyFights.)