The Battle of Alberts is back, and it is back with a vengeance.
There has been a truly amazing amount of talk around the league and among fans following the now infamous incident that took place earlier this month between Edmonton Oilers enforcer Zack Kassian and Calgary Flames enforcer Matthew Tkachuk. There are those who feel Tkachuk was well within his rights to deliver the punishing hits that he delivered to the aforementioned Kassian, while others applauded Kassian for taking matters into his own hands and pummeling Tkachuk after one of those bone crunching hits. Whichever side of the debate you find yourself on, it sounds like you might be about to get plenty more topics for discussion.
You see Kassian was a guest on a recent episode of of the "Kes and Juice" podcast, a podcast hosted by former National Hockey League players Kevin Bieksa and Ryan Kesler, and towards the end of his appearance he made some comments regarding the Oilers upcoming matchup against the Flames. Although Kassian did not specifically call out Matthew Tkachuk by name, there was a very clear and implied threat in his words and you have to imagine that he had Tkachuk on his mind when he said them.
"Oh stuff is gonna happen," said Kassian. "Stuff will probably happen. It is crazy how people think... it's just hockey. Chances are big Luc is gonna come over and if something has to happen something has to happen."
Kassian made it sound like he was more than happy to take on all comers as well, and I would be shocked if he didn't go looking for a little of that trouble himself in their upcoming matchup. While there are no doubt many players in the NHL who would find themselves very intimated at the very real threat of violence hanging over this game, it sounds like Kassian is the kind of player who thrives in this type of environment.
"It's good to get a little old time hockey."
No doubt Tkachuk and the Flames have every intention of responding in kind, and if that is indeed the case it means that the real winners of the next Battle of Alberta is going to be the fans.