The nine craziest things from the in-bench brawl between Chicago Wolves and Rockford IceHogs [VIDEO]

The Canucks and Blackhawks have had one of the most heated rivalries in the NHL over the last 4 seasons. Three consecutive meetings in the playoffs tends to have that effect. So it doesn’t make a whole lot of sense that the Canucks have their AHL farm team in Chicago. It would be like if one of the Canucks’ biggest historic rivals had their AHL farm team in the Fraser Valley.

So when the Chicago Wolves, Vancouver’s farm team, meets the Rockford IceHogs, Chicago’s farm team, there is always a little confusion. Maybe that’s why, instead of having a bench-clearing brawl, like normal people, they had a bench-unclearing brawl.

This brawl was more than a little crazy, so here are the 9 craziest things that happened:

  • The whole thing starts when, with 13 seconds left and the Wolves down 2-1, Guillaume Desbiens carries the puck up ice, hoping to tie the game. Guillaume Desbiens. Yes, the Wolves have Desbiens on the ice in hopes of scoring a last-second, game-tying goal. That isn’t just crazy, that’s certifiable.
  • Desbiens loses the puck (shocking!) and hits Ben Smith to try to regain possession. The one problem? The bench door isn’t securely shut and Smith falls through the door. The IceHogs’ Jeremy Morin takes the opportunity to throw a few punches at Desbiens from the bench and Desbiens comes up swinging, only he starts swinging at Rob Flick. Poor Flick nearly gets pulled onto the ice by Desbiens and does have his helmet ripped off. I’m guessing he won’t want to set next to Morin for a while.
  • Jim Vandermeer actually enters the Rockford bench to trade punches with Wade Brookbank. Somehow he, along with Brookbank, doesn’t get a penalty. A whopping 27 penalties were handed out, but the guy who went into the opponent’s bench to punch a guy doesn’t get one.
  • Since Vandermeer enters the Rockford bench, Adam Polasek seems to think that he could go on the ice as part of a legal line change, as he comes flying in about 50 seconds into the video. Nope. He earns himself a game misconduct for leaving the bench and will likely face a hefty suspension.
  • The Wolves are actually lucky they don’t get another leaving the bench penalty, as the Wolves pull their goalie, Matt Climie, hoping for the equalizer, and Tim Miller jumps onto the ice to replace him, just as the brawl starts. Only thing is that Climie doesn’t leave the ice and gets involved in the melee. Let’s tally this up: the Wolves are on the penalty kill, so they start with 4 skaters and Climie. Vandermeer leaves the ice, Miller and Polasek jump onto the ice, making it an even 6-on-6 (including goalies) on the ice.
  • Devin DiDiomete apparently hates stanchions. Throughout the entire brawl, he’s just beating the hell out of the stanchion that separates the two benches. I’m guessing he was looking for a convenient excuse. Don’t let him anywhere near Wyatt Arndt.
  • At about the 1:00 mark, you can see Darren Archibald poking Joe Lavin with his stick, conveniently behind the back of all the officials. That cracks me up: it’s just so petty. There’s a crazy brawl, people are getting punched and tackled and put in headlocks! I better poke a guy with my stick. Ha! Have at thee!
  • Morin, who got the whole ruckus started by punching Desbiens from the bench, got a double-minor for roughing and didn’t get a misconduct penalty. Poor Flick, whose only crime was sitting next to Morin when he started punching Desbiens, got a 10-minute misconduct and a game misconduct. Poor guy.
  • Weirdest thing of all: Nicklas Jensen somehow ended up with two roughing minors and a game misconduct, which is more than a little odd, considering he wasn’t even on the ice.
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  1. BakerGeorgeT
    March 18, 2013

    Ah, but for the good old days for real bench clearing brawls. Or maybe it was bad old days. I don’t know. I wasn’t alive back in the old days.

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  2. Rituro
    March 18, 2013

    If I’m either coach, I appeal the bajeebus out of every call that was made. What a farce.

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  3. Diehardnuck
    March 18, 2013

    With phantom BS calls like this those officials are clearly ready for the NHL.

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  4. Dane
    March 18, 2013

    I watched a HBO doco on the Broad Street Bullies last night…. Maybe they watched it too?

    I wasn’t quite awake while watching the clip above and was very confused as to why Chicago was beating up Chicago. Very confusing. And to that end, a lot of AHL teams seem to have some sort of connection/tribute/patch that can identify them to their NHL affiliate. Some don’t. Is there any reason for that? Just down to whatever that teams marketing department decides?

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    • Daniel W.
      March 18, 2013

      Well, some teams owners also own the AHL franchise, so I suppose that might be a factor as well, e.g. Minnesota, Toronto, Buffalo, LA, Winnipeg, San Jose, New Jersey, New York Rangers and Islanders, Pittsburgh

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    • Dave Robinson (@dcrwrites)
      March 18, 2013

      Well a big part of it with the Wolves is that they have worked very hard for years to create their own identity. To this day they even have their own local TV contract, and may be the only AHL team to do so. For years they marketed themselves as an alternative to the Hawks that people could actually see on TV.

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  5. chicken chick
    March 18, 2013

    Just when you think you’ve seen it all
    This wonderful Saint Patrick’s brawl
    I wish I was a referee
    And ruling on this wild melee

    As Desbiens was on his way
    Before the door destroyed his play
    “Penalty shot!” is what I’d claim
    To see if he could tie the game

    It surely was a heinous sin
    Dismissing Flick as third man in
    But regards this unbench clearing
    “Archibald gets two for spearing.”

    As for Polasek being late
    ‘Twas just to keep the numbers straight
    While Clime didn’t leave the ice
    Vandermeer did which kept things nice

    “Two for roughing, that’s four aside
    Just who will sit you can decide.
    Morin two for instigating,
    And a week for aggravating.

    “Should Desbiens unlikely score
    Then we will play five minutes more.”

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    • Harrison Mooney
      March 18, 2013

      I dispute the rhyming of referee and melee. Come on now, Chicken Chick.

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  6. chicken chick
    March 18, 2013

    A visual rhyme this may not be?
    The double “ee” we both can see!

    The bottom line I do agree
    That Gretchen Grouse would side with thee.

    So let us have the sound of “e”
    To thus produce more happily:

    “I wish I were the referee
    Was punishing this pushing spree”

    Which very greatly pleases me
    Using “were” subjunctively

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    • Cody
      March 18, 2013

      That’s good stuff

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  7. cathylu
    March 19, 2013

    I also laughed at Archibald and his stick shennigans. I would have laughed even more if Climie would have started throwing punches. The idea of goalies fighting always amuses me.

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  8. Chuck Miller
    March 20, 2013

    It’s just another reason why the Canucks are moving their AHL team closer to home.

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