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Ex-NHL players interrogated for KHL brawl

Taking a play out of the Philadelphia Flyers Broad Street Bullies playbook, a team playing in the KHL in Russia started a premeditated, all-out brawl just six seconds into a game recently. With the help of two former NHL players, team Vityaz Chekhov instigated the fight against team Omsk Avangard and although the players may think their moves were appreciated by a few, by the time the police get done with their investigations they may regret making that move.  

Following the game, Vityaz players Darcy Verot and Josh Gratton were required to make a trip to the local police station for an interrogation and sources say a civil case may be opened against them for their over-aggressive behaviour. Following the game there were also demands to ban both players from the league for life.

Question here is, when you watch the video below, it appears Gratton (No. 92) and Verot were actually not the main aggressors in the fights while Sergei Belokon (No. 61) who pummels away at a defenseless player laying face down on the ice was. While there was a campaign for these players to face a legal court on charges, Avangard’s Martin Skoula and Roman Červenka were both left with concussions.

In the meantime, the KHL did step in and look over the tapes and decided to fine Avangard coach Anatoly Bardin 100,000 roubles and Vityaz coach Andrei Nazarov 400,000 roubles. We don’t know how many dollars all those roubles equal but it sounds like a lot so we’ll assume they got their Christmas’ ruined with the ruling.

 In addition to those fines, the league decided to suspend Gratton for 15 games, Ivan Larin for 14 games, Georgy Belokon for 13 games and last but not least, Darcy Verot for 12. Gratton, who is still under contract with the Atlanta Thrashers, was reassigned to the KHL earlier this year and Verot who originally came into the NHL with the Pittsburgh Penguins has amassed more than 1,000 penalty minutes skating for Vityaz.

Avangard’s manager made a statement regarding the incident:

“Why does Russian hockey need these strange foreigners?”

Seems as though the North Americans may be wearing out their welcome overseas.

When you watch the video below, don’t be confused by the fans’ reactions. While the fights appear to be appreciated by the crowd, keep in mind the whistling you hear throughout the ordeal is actually a sign of booing in that country.

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