NHL players, coaches react to Canucks-Flames melee Staff

1/20/2014 3:25:24 PM

Reaction to Saturday night's melee between the Vancouver Canucks and Calgary Flames is coming in from not just the media and fans, but from NHL teams, as well.

Phoenix Coyotes enforcer Paul Bissonnette said he was watching the game with keen interest.

"I was entertained to say the least," said Bissonnette. "[It was] must-see TV, especially when the stuff took place after the period."

San Jose Sharks captain Joe Thornton agreed with the assessment.

"Oh yeah, it's great," Thornton told CSN Bay Area ahead of Monday's visit by those same Flames. "Very entertaining. Who wouldn't want to watch that?"

As entertaining as the wild scenes might have been, Bissonnette thinks the situation could have been avoided and wondered about Flames coach Bob Hartley's decision to start his fourth line.

"Maybe [it was] a bit gutless to start the fourth line," said Bissonnette. "Could it have been defused? Yeah...[you] can look at it either way...everyone would assume what he was doing was get things going physically and I don't mean by just hitting guys."

Sharks coach Todd McLellan didn't sound to concerned about the prospects of a repeat performance on Monday night.

"What happens if Doug Wilson signs Wayne Gretzky or Bobby Orr today?" McLellan responded to a the possibility of Hartley starting his fourth line again.

Coyotes coach Dave Tippett said it wasn't the first time he's seen something like that over his years in the game.

"Coach in the minors for five years and you see lots of stuff like that," said Tippett, who is in his fifth in Phoenix.

The Coyotes bench boss concurred with his Canucks counterpart John Tortorella's take on the situation.

"I think John said it best - you have to look out for the welfare of your players," said Tippett.

The Coyotes are in action on Monday night when they host the Toronto Maple Leafs.