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Gulutzan recalls infamous Canucks-Flames brawl

by Aaron Vickers / Calgary Flames

CALGARY, AB -- Ladislav Smid, Chris Butler, Blair Jones, Brian McGrattan and Kevin Westgarth adorned in white.

Kevin Bieksa, Jason Garrison, Dale Weise, Tom Sestito and Kellan Lain draped in blue.

Rogers Arena. January 18, 2014.

Head coach Bob Hartley behind the Calgary Flames bench.

Head coach John Tortorella standing behind his Vancouver Canucks. Glen Gulutzan beside him.

“I think this has been said,” Gulutzan recounted Friday, moments after being introduced as Hartley’s replacement and Calgary’s 16th head coach in franchise history.

“Both sides didn’t want anything to happen, but when both teams get out there and you line up those two lineups, something is going to happen. The players knew. They knew something was different and that stuff happens.

“It still happens, but not as much anymore.”

Two seconds. One brawl.

Five fights, eight ejections and 150 minutes in penalties.

Smid with Bieksa. Butler with Garrison. Jones with Weiss. Westgarth and Lain. All ejected. McGrattan and Sestito left with majors and matching 10-minute misconducts.

Hartley fined $25,000. Tortorella suspended for six games, 15 days.

“Those guys are playing well for us,” Hartley explained more than three hours after the rumble. “They got us a goal last game and obviously we’re not scoring many goals. We had absolutely zero intentions there. Those guys are playing hard for us. We’re a disciplined hockey club. As far as I know, they were the home team so they had the luxury to put whoever they wanted on the ice.”

"It's easy for people to say put the Sedins out there and it's deflated," Tortorella countered to reporters. "I can't put our players at risk that way. With the lineup he had, I am not going to put those type of players at risk, and that's what ensues. I'm not proud of it. I have apologized to every one of the players involved in it. I don't feel great about it at all."

For some, the biggest action followed after the remaining 19:58 of first period play.

In the intermission, Tortorella stormed the hallway just outside the Flames dressing room, with McGrattan playing peacekeeper, in the now famous altercation that has hundreds of thousands of views on YouTube.

The video shows Gulutzan between Tortorella and McGrattan.

He too trying to keep some order.

“I was in the hallway,” Gulutzan said. “I was in the Flames hallway. I was trying to get everybody out of there. It was an experience. Torts made the quick left down there and I tried to get him out, so did (assistant coach Mike Sullivan). He was too quick for us. I have a lot of respect for Grats too, he was standing in the hallway wondering who these midgets were trying to get at one another. Here was this huge guy as calm as calm could be.

“I could right a book now about that. It would be a chapter.”

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