Oilers-Canucks players get into 'scary, terrible' preseason melee

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    Edmonton Oilers forward Zack Kassian was injured in a fight with Vancouver Canucks center Zack MacEwen during a preseason game on Thursday night.

    Kassian and MacEwen fought late in the third period. As the two were going punch-for-punch, Kassian’s helmet came off and when he dropped to the ice he landed on his head. Kassian had to be helped off the ice after the melee.

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    Edmonton Oilers' Zack Kassian (44) lies on the ice after a fight with Vancouver Canucks' Zack MacEwen (71) during third-period preseason NHL hockey game action in Edmonton, Alberta, Thursday, Oct. 7, 2021.

    Edmonton Oilers’ Zack Kassian (44) lies on the ice after a fight with Vancouver Canucks’ Zack MacEwen (71) during third-period preseason NHL hockey game action in Edmonton, Alberta, Thursday, Oct. 7, 2021.
    (Jason Franson/The Canadian Press via AP)

    Oilers forward Derek Ryan said it was scary watching Kassian fall to the ice like that.

    “He’s like my brother, sitting next to me in the locker room. So to see him like that on the ice, it just makes me sick to my stomach,” Ryan said, via The Athletic. “It’s a tough feeling. I haven’t seen him yet, but I heard he’s doing all right.”

    Oilers coach Dave Tippett said Kassian was doing all right afterward.

    Vancouver Canucks' Zack MacEwen (71) and Edmonton Oilers' Zack Kassian (44) fight during the third period of an NHL hockey preseason game Thursday, Oct. 7, 2021, in Edmonton, Alberta.

    Vancouver Canucks’ Zack MacEwen (71) and Edmonton Oilers’ Zack Kassian (44) fight during the third period of an NHL hockey preseason game Thursday, Oct. 7, 2021, in Edmonton, Alberta.
    (Jason Franson/The Canadian Press via AP)

    “He’s got a pretty good bump on his head from hitting the ice but he was in good spirits and was telling jokes when I came and saw him after the game. It’s one of those ones that upsets you when that happens. … We’ll see where he is tomorrow,” Tippett said.

    Canucks forward Quinn Hughes described the fight as “scary.”

    “It’s scary, it’s terrible, it’s not cool. It probably didn’t need to happen,” Hughes said.

    It appeared the two players couldn’t wait until the games counted to throw hands. Hockey fights aren’t uncommon but doing it in the preseason, with nothing on the line, seemed to be over the top even for the sport’s standards.

    Edmonton Oilers' Zack Kassian (44) is tended to by medical staff after a fight with Vancouver Canucks' Zack MacEwen during the third period of an NHL hockey preseason game Thursday, Oct. 7, 2021, in Edmonton, Alberta.

    Edmonton Oilers’ Zack Kassian (44) is tended to by medical staff after a fight with Vancouver Canucks’ Zack MacEwen during the third period of an NHL hockey preseason game Thursday, Oct. 7, 2021, in Edmonton, Alberta.
    (Jason Franson/The Canadian Press via AP)

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    Kassian is about to enter his seventh season with Edmonton. He played in 27 games in 2020-21. MacEwen is entering his fourth season with the Canucks. He played in 34 games last season.

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