EDMONTON, AB - Fighting is on the decline but that didn't stop Milan Lucic and New Jersey's Kurtis Gabriel from going the distance on Wednesday.
The two forwards exchanged pleasantries then decided to dance, throwing it back with a heavy and spirited donnybrook - lasting over a minute - like those of the past.
"I think I speak for both guys that were part of it," Lucic said on Friday, "it was a fun one to be in. Giving some shots, taking some shots and all that type of stuff."
The scrap left a few bumps and bruises on the hulking winger. The top of Lucic's nose is still cut, his cheeks are still scraped and the sweater burn on the back of his neck is telling of the tug-of-war that's played during a tilt.
But the 6-foot-3, 231-pound righty had nothing but respect for his opponent Gabriel, who thanked the Oilers forward for making some time to get acquainted.
Video: RAW | Milan Lucic 03.15.19
"Actually, some really nice words from him to me after a fight like that," Lucic said. "You respect a guy in that role just trying to do what he can to help his team and stay up in the Big Leagues, while also trying to bring that old-school type of play."
Lucic furthered the discussion on fighting and how it's changed.
"When I first came into the League, it was nice sometimes when you were frustrated. You could take it out on someone from the other team," Lucic, who has fought twice this season, said.
"There were guys willing to go on the other side. It added to the intensity and energy of games. Also, it let the players police themselves.
"I do wish it was more old school like when I started but how could you complain with the skill that's come in and replaced a lot of those guys in the third and fourth line?"