It's Garland vs. Joshua as Canucks training camp gets feisty

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In the days of yore, NHL teams would add the biggest, toughest guys they could find to training camp rosters just to have them make a mess.

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Remember Link Gaetz, for instance? The Vancouver Canucks had the infamous enforcer — nicknamed The Missing Link — at their 1995 training camp in Whistler. Notionally, Gaetz was there to make the team, but the odds are good that he was just there to cause a ruckus.

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In his first training camp in 1978, rookie Stan Smyl put Harold Snepsts into the end board with a thundering check. All eyes quickly landed on big, tough Randy Holt, who once recorded 411 penalty minutes in one minor-league season with the Dallas Black Hawks.

Holt was skating as Snepsts’ defence partner and skated over to challenge the feisty young Smyl, who had been MVP at the Memorial Cup the spring before. But in this case, Snepsts waved Holt off; not this time, he said. He’d put himself in that spot, he said.

This is all to say that once upon a time, fights happened in training camp.

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They happened a lot.

And so although Conor Garland and Dakota Joshua getting in each other’s faces on Saturday may pale in historical comparison, the fact it doesn’t happen much anymore means two teammates getting feisty with one another still stands out.


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