Phil Kessel, David Booth get into fight at Maple Leafs practice

Phil Kessel and David Booth got into a fight during Maple Leafs practice Friday afternoon. During a drill, the two began shoving and had to be separated by teammates. Coach Peter Horachek was happy to see some fire from his players, though. Toronto has lost seven-straight and will be in action Saturday against Ottawa.
Author:
Publish date:
The Hockey News

The Hockey News

A sure sign that a team's situation is reaching its boiling point is when fights start to break out in practice. That's exactly what happened this afternoon in Toronto, and from two unlikely combatants.

During Maple Leafs practice Friday afternoon, Phil Kessel and David Booth -- they of seven combined NHL scraps -- got into a dust up and had to be separated by teammates. Toronto is in the midst of a seven-game slide, and there's little doubt the fight was nothing more than frustration boiling over in Toronto. Footage of the wrestling match between the two surfaced thanks to Toronto's Global News:

After practice, Booth told TSN that the fight was just one of those things that happens during the course of a season.

"It’s actually good to see that," Booth told TSN. "Hopefully we can take some of that competitive nature into the game tomorrow. It's the game of hockey, stuff like that is bound to happen. I don’t think it’s a big deal at all, but obviously when it happens here it might create a little bit of a ruckus.”

Asked whether or not Kessel was the one who started the jousting, Booth said it would be better to ask Kessel what happened. Kessel did not speak to the media following practice.

Coach Peter Horachek's response to the fight? Well, he thought it was a good thing.

"Great," Horachek told reporters after practice. "Competition. Guys gotta compete in practice, and I think that's a good thing. That's a regular thing that used to happen all the team with most teams. Teams need to compete in practice, and that's just the way it is. It's part of the game."

Toronto will be back in action Saturday evening when they take on the red hot Ottawa Senators.

TOP HEADLINES

Matty Beniers
Play

Seattle, Meet Your First Draft Class

The Kraken made seven selections this weekend, laying the foundation for a pipeline that eventually will be called on for youthful reinforcements.

Robert Orr
Play

Another Bobby Orr Was Drafted to the NHL

Robert Orr, AKA Bobby Orr, was selected by the Carolina Hurricanes - but sadly, he's not a defenseman.

Sam Reinhart
Play

Sabres Move Sam Reinhart to Panthers

The Buffalo Sabres continued their organizational fire sale by trading disgruntled forward Sam Reinhart to Florida for goaltending prospect Devon Levi and the Panthers’ 2022 first-round pick.