NHL players take sides on the Gleason, Kulemin altercation Staff

1/26/2011 12:04:12 AM

Carolina Hurricanes' defenceman Tim Gleason is known as one of the tough players in the NHL.  It comes as no surprise that it only took him one punch to floor skilled Toronto Maple Leafs forward Nikolai Kulemin, ending a small battle between the two that sprung from a scrum along the boards on Monday night.
Replays show that Kulemin, with his gloves still on, connected with a few punches before Gleason dropped his mitts and sent the Leaf to the dressing room bleeding, where he remained for the rest of the game.
NHL players around the league weighed in on Tuesday with their thoughts on the altercation between Gleason and Kulemin.
Vancouver Canucks' forward Tanner Glass was not at all surprised by how Gleason handled the melee and found some humour in what in his eyes, was Kulemin's come-uppance.
"That's what you get, you start punching guys in the face and if it's the wrong guy you're going to get a punch in the mouth," said Glass,  "When I saw it I started laughing, but what do you expect? You start slugging a guy in the face, he's going to drop you."
Meanwhile his teammate Alex Burrows was not quite as convinced, believing the incident had a lot of grey area.
"His gloves were still on so it's a fine line and it happens really quickly," said Burrows. "I'm not sure if he was the aggressor and if that was fine, but it's a close, tough call."
Buffalo Sabres' centre Cody McCormick felt both guys could have showed a little more discretion and found fault in the way each participant acted.
"I think Kulemin could have protected himself a little more. On Gleason's side he could have been aware who he was in front of."
Ottawa Senators' defenceman Chris Campoli, who admits to not dropping the gloves very much himself, believes it's all a matter of knowing which guys to take on and which guys to leave alone.
"I don't fight a lot, but if I'm punching a guy back and forth you have to expect that the other guy is going to stand up himself," said Campoli.  "I guess he messed with the wrong guy and Gleason hit him first."
Calgary Flames' defenceman Cory Sarich had some advice for the young Russian.
"If you're going to get into it and you don't want to be then hit the ice," said Sarich. "I've seen guys turtle a lot quicker than that, the guy stood there and wasn't ready.  If you're going to get into something like that you better be ready."
Gleason was assessed an instigator penalty and a game misconduct to go along with the fighting major he picked up for throwing the punch.