Teams have different ways of welcoming new players. Some players have to sing, others have to give a speech, all in the name of breaking the ice with their new teammates.
So what did Barry Trotz do for Kevin Shattenkirk’s first practice with the team? He showed the team a video of Shattenkirk's fight with Justin Williams.
“That was pretty funny,” Tom Wilson said on Thursday when asked about the video. “I had no idea that that even went down. I think they hugged it out in the weight room after that.”
While still a member of the St. Louis Blues, Shattenkirk dropped the gloves with Williams, then a member of the Los Angeles Kings, on Dec. 18, 2014.
You can see the fight here:
Shattenkirk and Williams are seen jawing at one another before finally dropping the gloves. The fight ends once Shattenkirk loses his balance and both players fall to the ice.
Who was the winner? Voters on HockeyFights.com gives Williams the clear advantage, but there was no clear consensus from the team.
“I think it would have to go with a scorecard,” Trotz said. “I think it would be a split decision. I know [Williams] would say he won, but Shatty said [he] hit him with the first one and he fell forward on him.”
“I think Willy actually had the takedown,” Wilson said. “It was kind of short lived, it was probably pure emotion.”
But if you’re worried about whether there's any lingering animosity there, don’t be. Both players have embraced the other as a teammate and that was on display in Saturday’s game against the Philadelphia Flyers.
Early in the first period, Shattenkirk laid a big hit on Flyers forward Nick Cousins. Brandon Manning didn't seem to appreciate the hit and he delivered a few shoves of his own to Shattenkirk.
That was all Williams needed to see.
The veteran winger immediately came to Shattenkirk’s defense by stepping in and shoving Manning away. Cousins grabbed him from behind, eventually leading to Williams dropping the gloves and delivering a few swings at Cousins who suddenly looked as if he wanted no part of Williams.
Coming to the defense of his teammate was a gesture that did not go unnoticed by Shattenkirk or the Caps.
“[Williams is] such a good leader and he recognized that there's people coming in there and he jumped right in and stood up for his teammate,” Trotz said after the game.
“For him to stick up for me especially with our little tussle that we had a few years ago, that's the type of guy he is,” Shattenkirk said. “That's why he's been in this league for so long, because he' such a great teammate and I hope he knows that I would do the same for him.”
MORE CAPITALS: Wilson puts his butt on the line for the Caps