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Report: Flames’ Westgarth was told to ‘make something happen’

Calgary Flames v Vancouver Canucks

VANCOUVER, CANADA - JANUARY 18: Kevin Bieksa #3 of the Vancouver Canucks is separated from Kevin Westgarth #15 of the Calgary Flames by referees after the opening puck drop on January 18, 2014 at Rogers Arena in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. (Photo by Marissa Baecker/Getty Images)

Marissa Baecker

From The Province newspaper in Vancouver:

We are starting to hear a few of the details of the Saturday night punch-up between the Calgary Flames and the Vancouver Canucks.

A person in position to know of such things, but who must remain nameless, has said that Kevin Bieksa, who apparently knows Calgary’s Kevin Westgarth, was told during their extended discussion at centre ice before the brawl started that the Flames tough guy admitted they’d been sent out to make something happen.

If true, that would contradict the story that Flames head coach Bob Hartley told after the game regarding his choice of starting players, which also included tough guy Brian McGrattan.

“Those guys are playing well for us,” Hartley said. “They got a goal last game. We’re not scoring many goals. We had zero intentions there.”

There’s been talk the NHL could fine Hartley for “player selection,” the same thing former Buffalo coach Ron Rolston was fined for in the preseason after the John Scott-Phil Kessel altercation.

The league’s decision to fine Rolston in that case didn’t sit well with his coaching brethren, by the way.

Related: NHL will hold in-person meeting with Tortorella