Video of Bobby Shea attacking Ty Rattie in the tunnel at Allstate Arena.
(credit to Wolfkeeper.org on YouTube for the videos)
By Chris Block
Rockford got pummeled on Friday night at Allstate Arena in Rosemont, losing 6-0 to their division rival Chicago Wolves.
The game also got out of hand at moments, originally stemming from Wolves’ tough guy Eric Selleck coming off the bench on a line change to engage with IceHogs’ rookie Pat Mullane, who had just been jousting with Ty Rattie.
But the “highlight” of the evening belonged to Bobby Shea. The first year pro is a defenseman on the IceHogs. He took a run at St. Louis Blues’ prospect Ty Rattie with 36 seconds to go in the middle period.
Shea led with a high elbow that struck Rattie in the head. Afterwards, as Rattie was chirping at Shea in response to that action, Shea dropped his gloves and proceeded to level Rattie with a series of unanswered punches. Its believed Rattie suffered a broken nose in that sequence – be it on the elbow or in the fight.
Referee Gino Binda hit Shea with a 5 minute major for elbowing and a game misconduct for the original elbow. In addition, Shea got 5 minutes for fighting. As you can see in the video, Shea could have gotten more, as Shea jumped Rattie and got in three punches before Rattie could get his gloves off to answer. But that hardly matters in the grand scheme of Shea’s actions on Friday.
Its hard to say given the inconsistencies when it comes to AHL supplemental discipline (Yes, its worse than the NHL. Much more so.), but had Shea’s extra-curricular activities ended there Friday, he may not have been suspended at all.
It was what took place in the tunnel coming off the ice leading to both player’s locker rooms that the AHL couldn’t turn a blind eye to.
As you saw in the embedded video both atop and just below here in this post, Shea continued his aggression towards Ty Rattie outside the IceHogs’ locker room. The two were only separated by Rosemont police and training staff members who happened to be nearby. It actually didn’t end there either, as Shea appeared to be challenging Wolves’ left winger Alexandre Bolduc on his way to the locker room after being sent off by the officials as they attempted to sort out what took place on the ice while Shea wreaked havoc down the tunnel.
Video of entire Shea-Rattie sequence of events, starting with Elbowing major
Shea was suspended 8 games by the American Hockey League in a decision that came down a few hours prior to Saturday night’s Wolves-IceHogs rematch in Rockford.
Rockford team captain Jared Nightingale was also suspended 6 games by the AHL for an incident that took place earlier in the game with Eric Selleck.
I was able to watch the entire video of the tunnel incident on Friday night. The only thing cut from what was released by the Wolves was Shea comically getting back down on his knees after being separated from Alexandre Bolduc in the second altercation down the tunnel way, and Shea knee-walking back across the 15 feet of concrete back to the rubber mat that leads to the IceHogs’ locker room. Of course, if he would have walked on his skates across the concrete he would have risked ruining his skate edges, but it wasn’t like Shea was going back into the game. He was already assessed a game misconduct for what took place on the ice.
You’ll see Jared Nightingale in the background in the tunnel. He had previously been booted from the game temporarily for his part in a melee at 13:47 of the second period.
Nightingale was hit with instigating, a fight minute major for fighting and a ten minute misconduct for jumping Eric Selleck as Selleck was being led to the penalty box after fighting IceHogs’ center Pat Mullane.
“Pat Mullane hasn’t been in a fight all year,” said Rockford coach Ted Dent. “So, (it was) obviously a mismatch in that respect.”
The IceHogs have 39 fighting majors on the season. As a team they had 63 last season, 73 in 2011-12 and 92 in 2010-11.
Nightingale should have been kicked out of the game altogether, but the officials were unable to determine whether Nightingale came off the bench to engage with Selleck.
He did. There’s a grey area that the IceHogs probably tried to argue in that since Nightingale is the team captain, he was coming on the ice to talk to the officials about what the penalties were going to be when he crossed paths with Selleck, but either way, Nightingale’s emotions got the best of him and its clear he was out there confronting Selleck and not looking to speak to Gene Binda.
“I didn’t plan on what happened, but emotion gets the best of you,” Nightingale said shortly after Friday night’s 6-0 loss. “We have a rivalry going and I’m excited to play tomorrow.”
He wouldn’t play [Saturday] or the next five Rockford games. Nightingale suspension ends with the IceHogs April 5th game at Abbotsford. He’s eligible for return for the team’s final six regular season games beginning on Tuesday April 8th at Milwaukee.
Mullane into it with Rattie near Wolves’ bench. Selleck jumps on to attack Mullane.
What’s important to point out here, and what Rockford is especially upset about, is that Mullane was initially engaged with Chicago’s Rattie (the Blues 3rd ranked prospect according to The Hockey News) near the Wolves bench at the end of a shift.
“It’s unfortunate, but there are still guys that play hockey that don’t abide by the code,” said Nightingale when explaining why he went after Eric Selleck after the Selleck-Mullane fight.
“[Selleck's] not the only one, but it’s too bad.”
If you watch closely, Rattie goes off on his change, Selleck jumps on and immediately goes after Mullane. Selleck was issued a roughing minor and fighting major for his involvement in that sequence.
Mullane said he didn’t see Selleck coming.
“I was just talking to, I think it was Rattie, and I kinda got in his face.” Mullane explained.
“Next thing I knew, I felt a shove from behind. Selleck was there with his gloves dropped. Obviously you don’t want to back down from a challenge. I think he has a little bit more experience than I do. But that’s part of the game.”
This wasn’t the first time this season Selleck has drawn the ire of the IceHogs. Selleck just joined the Wolves as he was traded from the Florida Panthers to the St. Louis Blues in exchange for Mark Mancari on March 2nd, the same day Brandon Pirri went to the Panthers.
On opening night in San Antonio, the Panthers’ AHL affiliate, Selleck dropped the gloves with Jared Nightingale late in a scoreless first period.
As you can see below in the video of the tussle, the two were grappling near the corner boards when Nightingale got spun around and wound up facing the glass. In a prone position with his face up against the glass, Selleck punched Nightingale in the back of the head.
Selleck also got in an extra shot on Mullane in Friday night’s fight, landing a final punch after Mullane was already put to the ice and in a prone, defenseless position.
“If you watch any of Selleck’s fights, he punches guys when they’re down,” said Nightingale after Friday’s game.
“It’s kind of a common trend with him.”