Hockey fights can be a vicious thing.
Colby Cave of the Bakersfield Condors delivered a brutal KO on Martin Pospisil of the Stockton Heat in the AHL on Saturday evening.
Both players were exchanging blows in the scrap before Cave delivered the knockout punch. Stockton’s trainer immediately rushed on the ice to attend to Pospisil. Fans in attendance reported that Pospisil was unconscious for over five minutes.
Colby Cave with the KO in the AHL last night 😳 pic.twitter.com/BTiKJHbsO4
— Gino Hard (@Ginohard_) October 20, 2019
Most fights simply end with the ref breaking up the scrap, and it’s rare to see one end in such a vicious way. The best part about the knockout was how Cave responded after the game.
Cave showed great sportsmanship following the fight as he texted Pospisil after the game to make sure he was okay. Pospisil posted the text he received from Cave on Twitter on Sunday.
“Hey buddy’s Cave from the other, just wanted to reach out and hope you’re ok buddy. Hate seeing that. You;re a tough kid and I respect a guy that stands up for himself. Hope you have a quick recovery buddy.”
Pospisil was also a good sport about it, replying to Cave by saing “Hey bud. I’ll be alright. It was a good fight! Thank you for reaching out!!”
— Martin Pospisil (@mpospisil91) October 20, 2019
It’s nice to see the sportsmanship between Cave and Pospisil, but the KO has drawn some concern by prominent voices in the hockey world. TSN Correspondent Rick Westhead took to Twitter to compare the hockey knockout to a boxing knockout.
Westhead points out that if Pospisil was a boxer, he would’ve been prevented from fighting again for up to 90 days. There is no such mandated recovery period rule in place in professional hockey.
If Calgary Flames minor leaguer Martin Pospisil was a boxer, this TKO would have left him suspended for up to 90 days from sparring & competing.
But it’s pro hockey, so… https://t.co/c8vs35mGHM
— Rick Westhead (@rwesthead) October 21, 2019
HockeyFights uploaded the full fight on their website. You can see Cave take exception to a hit by Pospisil and both players deciding to drop the gloves. Cave has fought nine times in his AHL career, while Pospisil has dropped the gloves three times.
The debate about whether fighting has a place or not in hockey will continue, and devastating knockouts such as this one serve as a reminder of the dangers of dropping the gloves.