Matthew Barnaby has been a thorn in Lyle Odelein's side for many years, but never more so than last May's Eastern Conference quarterfinals.
That's when Pittsburgh's bad boy spent the series poking fun at Odelein, telling the media that the Devils defenseman looked like Corneilus, the chimpanzee character in the "Planet of the Apes" movies.
So was anyone surprised when Odelein and Barnaby dropped the gloves twice Sunday afternoon during the Devils' preseason opener in Columbus, Ohio?
"I don't like that kid," Odelein said after an afternoon practice.
"It was good to get rid of some frustration. He's a guy that yaps, not just at me, but at everybody. When you fight him, you really want to hurt him."
Odelein was OK the afternoon after, and he said he got in some good licks. Odelein welcomes the challenge of continuing the feud.
"He's not a tough guy," Odelein said.
"If he's willing to drop them every game, I'm more than willing. I just don't know how many beatings the kid can take."
A good sign for Sharks
SAN JOSE, Calif. -- Having restricted free agents miss training camp has become an accepted part of doing business in the NHL.
So it is more newsworthy that the Sharks and Anaheim have all players under contract as the meet in an exhibition game tonight at the Pond in Anaheim.
After dealing with Jeff Friesen, Owen Nolan, Mike Rathje and Mike Ricci last year, the Sharks are free of contract hassles. The Mighty Ducks re-signed defenseman Ruslan Salei on the first day of camp to assure full attendance.
Around the rinks
Milos Holan, a 28-year-old defenseman attempting to return to the NHL four years after being diagnosed with leukemia, was released by the Atlanta Thrashers. . . . Hall of Fame defenseman Bill Quackenbush, a 13-year veteran who played with Detroit and Boston, died Sunday at Chandler Hall Hospice in Newtown at age 77. He was one of the least penalized defensemen in NHL history and played 132 consecutive games without a penalty. In 1949, he became the first defenseman to receive the Lady Byng Trophy.