By Pam Shebest
KALAMAZOO, Mich. – It’s not often a player fights his coach — and wins.
That’s just what happened between Nick Bootland and Olivier Legault, but it was two years ago, before Bootland became the Kalamazoo Wings coach and Legault signed with the team.
“In my first year (with the IHL’s Fort Wayne Komets), he actually ran into our goalie and I happened to just jump on the ice,” Legault explained.
“I didn’t know who he was. I just jumped over him and we had a good fight. It was a pretty good tilt, so it’s kinda funny.”
Bootland agreed that’s what happened, but said running the goalie was strictly an accident.
“It was my first exhibition game and I was a 10-year vet, so there’s no way I was gonna fight in an exhibition unless I really had to,” Bootland said. “We did get into it.
“I ran into his goaltender and he came over. He was a big guy (6-foot-5 to Bootland’s 6-2) and I didn’t know anything about him, so I knew I was gonna try to get the jump.”