Best friends Dylan Larkin, Zach Werenski drop the gloves in heated fight

Thomas Williams
·Hockey writer
·2 min read
Detroit Red Wings center Dylan Larkin (71) punches Columbus Blue Jackets defenseman Zach Werenski (8) as Bobby Ryan (54) fights Columbus Blue Jackets right wing Oliver Bjorkstrand (28) in the third period of an NHL hockey game Monday, Jan. 18, 2021, in Detroit. (AP Photo/Paul Sancya)
Detroit Red Wings captain Dylan Larkin and Columbus Blue Jackets star Zach Werenski are best friends off the ice, but they got into a heated fight. (AP/Paul Sancya)

Best friends fight. Sometimes over a childhood video game console, sometimes over who can do the most pushups in a contest to determine the better competitor, and sometimes in an afternoon National Hockey League game during a global pandemic.

With just seconds remaining in Monday’s match between the Red Wings and Blue Jackets, Detroit captain Dylan Larkin was locked in a tussle with former University of Michigan roommate and Columbus defenseman, Zach Werenski.

With no bloodshed, no love was lost between the uniquely connected two while their fists were smashing down each other’s throats due to an awkward collision around the Columbus net that eventually ended up being a goal for Red Wings forward Anthony Mantha. The modern day line brawl: coming after an awkward garbage goal that really had no effect on who won the game.

Butting heads like this is not a new thing —as if I needed to tell you that about two former college hockey players — as Larkin explained the whole scenario after the final whistle.

“We had six guys, they had five,” the young captain told the media. “I saw [Joonas] Korpisalo coming in there with a stick, I was kind of late to the pile, and I didn’t like it. And, I think, as I tried to jump in, I elbowed Zach and that didn’t make him happy. We fought, and that was it. Not our first fight. We’ve had plenty of battles, so it was just part of the game.”

All of this after Larkin offered to host Werenski’s parents, giving them his own reserved tickets — since players of road teams cannot hand out tickets to family currently — letting them enjoy what it’s like to have a true conflict of interest. One side was able to let you in Little Caesars Arena, while you raised the other side of the bout to be one of the best hockey players in the world. It’s truly a tough call.

Both players were held pointless in the 3-2 win by the Blue Jackets, so they can even bond further about their empty scoresheet as they face off again on Tuesday night.

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