Minnesota Wild center Ryan Hartman let his feelings about Evander Kane be known to the world Tuesday night.
Midway through the third period of Minnesota's 5-1 win over Edmonton, Oilers winger Kailer Yamamoto got into a shoving match with Wild star Kirill Kaprizov. Kane felt obligated to defend his teammate and a sizeable scrum ensued with pushing and shoving along the boards, until Hartman powered through several bodies to get to the player picking on his winger.
evander kane stands up for linemate kailer yamamoto, and everything breaks loose. pic.twitter.com/oW2xB4z1Dc
— zach laing (@zjlaing) April 13, 2022
Hartman finally got a hold of his target and attempted to throw a punch over the head of the linesman caught in the middle of the action, but the two were quickly pried apart.
With a stretch of ice and a pair of stripes between them, the two forwards continued to jaw at each other before Hartman flipped Kane off and shouted "f*** you" several times as they made their way to their respective penalty boxes.
Uh oh. Ryan Hartman gives Evander Kane the finger after a scrum. pic.twitter.com/R5SXu7wx5c
— Brady Trettenero (@BradyTrett) April 13, 2022
After the game, Hartman expressed pride in his teammates for supporting one another on the ice.
“It goes to show, we had five guys in there. They didn’t have one guy in there to help him. I don’t think any of their guys are going to defend him,” Hartman said.
Hartman said any fine he received for the gesture would be "well worth it," and on Wednesday that number ended up being $4,250, the maximum allowable under the collective bargaining agreement for unsportsmanlike conduct. He did get some of that back, however, courtesy Kane's estranged wife, Anna, who posted a screen shot on Instagram of a $200 transfer she sent to the Wild forward.
Anna Kane, Evander’s ex-wife, sent Ryan Hartman money to help pay his fine pic.twitter.com/VLNRYIcEiW
— Caylee (@2kaRask) April 13, 2022
Although Hartman's claim wasn't entirely true, as a number of Oilers jumped in to try and break up the scrum, Hartman didn't meet much resistance in his pursuit of Kane.
On the other side of the altercation, Kane had a different perspective on how things played out.
“It took all five guys and they couldn’t bring me down. It’s something,” he said. “I definitely would have liked to get loose, put it that way. … These little guys, they wanna act tough, but they wait for the linesmen to come in.”
In the end, Hartman ended up getting the best of his nemesis, scoring twice in the contest.
Unfortunately for those who love a good rivalry, this was the final meeting between the two clubs in the regular season, but with both having a good chance of making the playoffs it's conceivable, albeit unlikely, we could be granted a Western Conference final that has a bit of spice on top of the usual stakes.
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