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Beau Bennett sheds new light on old Malkin/Adams feud

The former Penguin spills the beans on what led to the on-ice scuffle that left the veteran Adams bloodied. Also, a few other tidbits from a recent podcast appearance.

New York Islanders v Pittsburgh Penguins Photo by Gregory Shamus/NHLI via Getty Images

Former Pittsburgh Penguins forward Beau Bennett recently went on ‘The Cam & Strick Podcast’ hosted by fellow former NHLer Cam Janssen and hockey reporter Andy Strickland and shed some new light on a rather infamous team feud from a few years back.

During the interview, Bennett was asked about the practice altercation between Evgeni Malkin and Craig Adams from back in 2015 and provided some never before heard insight on what exactly went down between the two players that led to the on-ice tussle.

At the time, it was reported that Malkin and Adams were participating in a drill and tempers boiled over in the moment leading to the scuffle. This is how the incident was originally reported on back in 2015 and what Malkin said following the scrum that left Adams bloodied and Malkin without a jersey.

Per the Penguins:

Adams led to a skirmish that was broken up by teammates. The result was Adams leaving with blood on his mouth. He was forced to wear a protective shield in the game that night.

“I have no problem (with Adams),” Malkin said. “I cut his lips a little bit, but it’s bad luck and we talked after practice. With the team, too. It’s nothing bad and we played together the last three shifts. We played strong in the game.”

Now, after listening to what Bennett says, it becomes clear tensions were building days ahead of time before spilling over on the ice.

(WARNING: Clip contains strong language)

As Bennett says in the clip, New Year’s is apparently a high holiday in Russia and celebrated heavily in Malkin’s homeland. With plans to take part is some kind of holiday festivities to ring in the new year, Malkin knew he was going to be in no shape to practice the next day so he announced he was not going to be attending the session.

Malkin bailing on practice to party apparently irked Adams so much that he couldn’t let it go and it all came to a head the next time he and Malkin were on the ice together. Adams decided to take out his frustration on the Penguins superstar during a practice drill and it ended with Malkin getting the best of Adams by nearly amputating his upper lip.

In hindsight, maybe this incident was a sign of things to come for the Penguins as they struggled mightily just to make the playoffs later that year and bowed out to the New York Rangers in just five games.

Adams left the Penguins after the season and retired shortly there after. Malkin quite obviously remained in Pittsburgh and won consecutive Stanley Cup championships in the following two seasons.

Everything worked out just fine in the end.

On top of the Malkin/Adams story, Bennett dropped another interesting anecdote during his interview with Janssen and Strickland. This story involves Joe Vitale allegedly threatening to punch then head coach Dan Bylsma, an incident that led to Vitale’s eventual exit from Pittsburgh following the 2013-14 season.

(WARNING: Clip contains strong language)

That is certainly an interesting choice of words to say to your head coach and it’s probably not a surprise Vitale didn’t last long long in Pittsburgh after the supposed interaction occurred.

One final point of discussion from Bennett was a hit from TJ Oshie that fractured his collarbone and led to his eventual retirement from the game of hockey from a few years later. We all know Bennett suffered through a myriad of injuries during his career, but it’s interesting to hear him point out a specific case that signalled the end of the road.

(WARNING: Clip contains strong language)

Credit to Bennett for not throwing the blame on Oshie when he easily could have in this situation. In fact, he placed the blame on himself for putting himself in a vulnerable position that allowed for him to fall awkwardly into the boards on the check.

For a guy who could harbour significant ill will for how his career played out, Bennett seems to have a positive outlook on how everything played out and seems truly content with his life at the moment.

If you want to listen to the whole episode featuring Bennett, you can do so at one of the outlets listed here.