Vince Dunn was the star of the internet on Saturday night, though it may earn him a suspension.
The St. Louis Blues may have been enjoying the final night of their five-day bye week on Saturday night, but that didn’t prevent a certain member of the organization from making national headlines. In a series of events that could have come straight out of Slap Shot, 20-year-old prospect Vince Dunn knocked an opponent to the ground with one punch.
Dunn took a stick to the face from Iowa Wild forward Kurtis Gabriel late in the third period. Dunn fought Gabriel as teammate Scooter Vaughan fought the Wild’s Nick Seeler, and with under three minutes left on the clock, the players were hit with fighting majors and sent to their dressing rooms.
Dunn and Gabriel exited the ice through the same general area, and the tension quickly heated up. As security personnel and several scratched Wolves players looked on, Gabriel grabbed Dunn and began to rough him up. What happened next was unbelievable, as Gabriel–a 16-game NHL veteran who measures in at 6-foot-4 and 211 pounds, exceeding Dunn’s listed dimensions by roughly four inches and 20 pounds–was knocked to the ground with one swing from Dunn.
In the long run, this probably isn’t the best look for Dunn, who was the Blues’ first selection in the 2015 draft and an AHL All-Star this season. He’ll likely receive a suspension, and the incident could earn him a reputation as a hothead, even though it could be argued that everything he did was in self-defense. Ultimately, players have done crazier things in the AHL and gone on to become NHL stars, so Dunn will probably still make it to the NHL sooner than later.
The Wolves and Wild play again at 3:00 PM on Sunday, which could make for a very heated matchup, especially if Dunn and Gabriel are in the lineup.