From the outside looking in, hockey players can seem like barbarians. They play a sport in which blades are fastened to their shoes and routinely enjoy punching each other in the face and spearing one another in the reproductive organs.
But behind the scars and missing teeth, there often lies a big softie with a kind-hearted soul.
There are plenty of examples, but the latest comes from Sharks defenseman Brenden Dillon and Predators forward Austin Watson. Both players are big, physical guys — they both are listed at 6-foot-4 — they decided to throw hands during a game in San Jose last weekend.
It definitely wasn’t the best fight you’ll ever witness, as there was a lot of awkward grappling and not much face-punching. But Dillon was mic’d up during the tilt and the exchange the two players shared at the conclusion of the bout was pretty amazing.
As the two exhausted parties decided to end the scrap, Watson told Dillon “atta boy, good job” before heading to the penalty box, where they would both serve their five-minute majors. While sitting in their respective sin bins, Dillon and Watson discussed their fatigue and lack of cardio training before arranging a plan to workout together in summer. Then, they wished each other good luck for the rest of the season.
It’s always interesting to hear the exchanges that occur when players drop the gloves on the ice. Fighting is a significant part of the history and culture of the sport and, despite its violent nature, it’s often approached with an odd calmness between players.