Ryan Hartman let his feelings be known to the world and especially Evander Kane.
Midway through the third period of Tuesday’s contest, Edmonton Oilers winger Kailer Yamamoto got into a shoving match with Minnesota Wild star Kirill Kaprizov. Kane felt obligated to defend his teammate, and a sizable scrum ensued. Pushing and shoving along the boards, until Hartman powered through several bodies to get to the player picking on his winger.
evander kane stands up for linemate kailer yamamoto, and everything breaks loose. pic.twitter.com/oW2xB4z1Dc— zach laing (@zjlaing) April 13, 2022
On his second attempt to get to Kane, Hartman got him by the collar, but without any semblance of organized fight, the two needed to be pried apart by officials.
With a stretch of ice between them and held back by the stripes, the two forwards were still going at it – mouthing off to one another, and Hartman spouting off “fuck you” a few times.
And if the words weren’t enough, Hartman made it especially clear what he meant, and flipped Kane off as they made their way to their respective penalty boxes.
Uh oh. Ryan Hartman gives Evander Kane the finger after a scrum. pic.twitter.com/R5SXu7wx5c— Brady Trettenero (@BradyTrett) April 13, 2022
After the game, Hartman expressed pride in his teammates for supporting one another on the ice.
“It goes to show, we had five guys in there. They didn’t have one guy in there to help him. I don’t think any of their guys are going to defend him,” the Wild center said. And he even went further to say that if the gesture warrants him a fine that it was “well worth it.”
While it might not be entirely true that no Oilers player was involved, it was fairly easy for Hartman to get in the middle of it and go after Kane.
On the other side of the altercation, Kane has a different point-of-view with the fact that all five Wild skaters were getting heated.
“It took all five guys and they couldn’t bring me down. It’s something,” he said. “I definitely would have liked to get loose, put it that way. …These little guys, they wanna act tough, but they wait for the linesmen to come in.”
Both sides are certainly puffing out their chests slightly, as it did appear Hartman wanted a piece of Kane, regardless of any presence of linesmen.
In between the whistles, Hartman managed to score two of the Wild’s five goals as they routed Edmonton by a score of 5-1.
Unfortunately for all of us, this was the final meeting between the two clubs in the regular season, but with both having a very good chance of making the playoffs, we might be granted a — somewhat unlikely — Western Conference Final that has a bit of spice on top of the usual stakes.
It should not go unnoticed or unmentioned that the only reason Kane is even on the Oilers is after his contract was terminated by the San Jose Sharks for growing an extensive rap sheet within the last calendar year that includes: submitting a fake COVID vaccine card, allegations of domestic assault and betting on his own games. This does not even include a civil lawsuit filed in 2016 accusing Kane of sexual assault, and a separate assault incident in Vancouver back in 2014.
Maybe Hartman wanted to make an example of Kane and prove even further — along with former NHLer Dustin Byfuglien — that he is just generally not liked by some players.