Even while on injured reserve, Lynx enforcer Ken Tasker can't avoid doing what he does best.
Prior to Augusta's game in Baton Rouge, La., on Saturday, Tasker got into a scrap with a Domino's Pizza vendor in the stands at the Riverside Centroplex arena. At the time, there were no fans inside the venue, and no charges were filed.
"It was an unfortunate incident that maybe you wish didn't happen, but I don't think it's that big of a deal," Lynx coach Scott MacPherson said. "Kenny is an emotional guy. He's also a tremendous individual. He's great in the community and is a great guy to have in the locker room."
Tasker said the fight was precipitated by an argument with arena workers after he climbed over a railing on the way up to the rafters to visit with Lynx radio man Jerry Canaan. The workers began yelling at Tasker to stop, but he ignored them and ended up exchanging words with them.
A few minutes later, as Tasker was descending from the rafters, a rather large man began shouting at him for disregarding the workers. Tasker said he and the man eventually came face-to-face and, after a heated, profanity-laced exchange, started exchanging blows.
"The guy was yelling at me and got in my face and it was basically none of his business what was going on," said Tasker, a native of Ottawa, Ontario. "He told me to `get out of here with my silly little accent,' and asked me if I wanted to `throw down.' Then, he ended up head butting me, and started throwing (punches). I really wasn't looking for trouble."
Said MacPherson: "(Baton Rouge general manager) Ron Hansis comes to me and asks me if I was aware that my guy punched just out the pizza boy. I said I was not aware of that, and (Hansis) just told us to get Tasker out of the building for the rest of the game and that everything would be OK."
The 24-year-old Tasker finished second in the East Coast Hockey League last season with 483 penalty minutes despite playing in only 42 games for the Toledo Storm. The Lynx signed the 6-foot, 205-pound forward after he was released by Toledo at the end of training camp.
"I'm sorry it happened, but I can't understand why they singled me out," said Tasker, who was activated from the IR on Wednesday and was in the lineup Thursday night against Tallahassee. "Luckily, no one was hurt and no one ended up in jail."
PRIDE FIRES COACH:
In the wake of a disappointing start, the Pee Dee Pride fired coach Frank Anzalone on Thursday just 13 games into his second season with the team.
Former Pride coach Jack Capuano, the club's senior vice president, will take over on an interim basis until a permanent coach is hired. Pee Dee is at home tonight against the Florida Everblades.
"The organization is looking to head in a new direction," said Capuano, a fan favorite during his two seasons as Pride coach. "We will do what we can to give the fans of the Pee Dee the kind of hockey and entertainment they have been accustomed to."
While the Pride have won three of their past four games to improve to 6-7-0, this isn't anything close to the Pee Dee team that finished with the second-best overall record in the league last season. They've already been beaten twice by the Lynx after dominating Augusta the previous two seasons, including a 6-1-0 mark vs. Augusta last year.
Anzalone, who previously coached the ECHL's Roanoke Express and also coached Lowell of the American Hockey League two years ago, led the Pride to a 47-18-5 record last season also was unpopular with the fans and was losing the confidence of his players.
The Lynx found themselves in the middle of the presidential election recount hype Thursday afternoon. The team's hotel was located around the corner from the Florida state capital.
"I've never seen so many satellite dishes in my life," said Canaan from his cell phone Thursday as he observed the hundreds of TV reporters, camera crews and satellite trucks across the street.
The Lynx boarded the bus immediately after the game on Thursday and drove through the night to Greenville for tonight's game against the Grrrowl at the BI-LO Center. The Lynx defeated the Grrrowl 4-1 on opening night at home, their only meeting so far this season. The teams play again Tuesday in Augusta.