By: Jeff Riger
@riger1984

I’ll just come out and say it, I want there to be fisticuffs later tonight when the alumni Wings do battle with the alumni Avalanche.

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Yes, I understand that everybody on the ice will be 20 years older and I’m also fully aware that seeing guys in their 40’s and 50’s fight will not be the same as back in the day but I don’t care. The Detroit-Colorado series was one of the most violent, intense, awesome rivalries in sports and I just hope there still might be some bad blood between the players after all this time. Most members of the Wings alumni team downplayed the physical part of the game earlier in the week but most also left open the possibility that if someone were to start something that they would be there to finish things.

Before the team departed for Denver, some of the team was around for interviews and while the majority of the media were interested in the rivalry, the brawl and things now, I only cared about if we will get to see a fight Friday? But will they actually fight? Below are some quotes from the players and it’s pretty easy to read them and then to read between the lines. They all say no, but I can give you reason to believe the answer could be yes!

Chris Chelios:

“There is always that goofball that is going to run around and take it serious but as far as anything after that, no. It seems to get more competitive as the game wears on, especially when it’s close. We’re all 20 years older, at least I am, it’s been a while so I’m sure guys are looking forward to it.”

When asked what player is most likely to be that goofball Chelios replied “Oh my God, Claude! (Lemieux) You got to give Claude the nod for that, he’ll do something dumb! Who knows, one play someone thinks they got wronged, hockey players are hockey players.”

Not only did Chelios leave the door open that a fight might break out but he also mentioned Lemieux and how he’ll do something dumb. What more proof do you need? If any player of the Av’s were to, lets say, finish a check strong, especially Lemieux, there is no way Detroit would be able to resist the urge to throw down. How great would it be to see Claude “turtle” 20 years later? I hope we find out!

Dino Ciccarelli:

Dino was another guy who didn’t admit there would be a fight but gave us all plenty of reason to believe there could be following a question and answer session between himself and radio play by play man Ken Kal.

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Kal- “I know you made a living in front of the net and I know in this alumni game you’re going to be in front of the net. What happens if (Patrick) Roy give you a little stick or something?”

Ciccarelli- “Well I wouldn’t think he would do that but if he does it, I’ll tell you what, I’m not going to take very kindly to it. Put it that way!”

Here is a couple of things we know. Roy is a hot head who has been training extensively to try to win this game. There is no doubt that at some point he will try something shady and when that moment arrives, lets all hope that it Ciccarelli in front of the net. Even though both men might think nothing would come of an innocent stick to the leg, in the moment instincts might take over and we could have ourselves a bit of a scrum and no doubt a bit of a scrum will definitely turn into a giant scrum.

Kris Draper:

Draper cares. He organized the team and he’s been running weekly practices for the guys to get ready. He even admitted that this could be his last combative game that he plays so he’s going to want to go all out. Add that to the fact that Lemieux never apologized and I wouldn’t be surprised if Draper decides to get a bit chippy. It should also be noted that Draper is still the fastest man on the ice and he’s going to be playing defense in the game because there are too many forwards. You starting to believe yet? Imagine Lemieux with the puck skating towards a waiting Draper? Hmm,  only something memorable can happen you would think.

Draper was asked about his relationship with Lemieux and how he feels about that hit all these years later? “I don’t know him” Draper said. “We never talked about that so I don’t feel, about him I guess is the only way I could say. It was 20 years ago, that defined me a lot as a person and as a hockey player and I think it created a heck of a rivalry.”

Draper, like a lot of his teammates left the door open for a possible fight when asked saying “it is an alumni game, but honestly you never know.”

There were plenty of alumni Wings that squashed the idea of a possible fight but I refuse to let that get me down because all it will take is one guy with one bad memory to deliver one hit and it’s ON!

Oh, and if the videos, quotes and commentary haven’t convinced you yet, let me provide one more piece of evidence.

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Yeah, like those guys aren’t ready to throw down!