Comparing Gleason-Kulemin to Avery-Smid
First the Gleason-Kulemin fight
It’s very clear that Gleason drops his gloves and Kulemin doesn’t. It’s also pretty indisputable that Kulemin shoves Gleason in the face a couple of times before the “fight”. Kulemin is certainly over his head in a fight with Gleason but if he’s shoving his gloves in his face what does he expect to happen?
Now the Avery-Smid fight (skip ahead to the 3:30 mark)
It’s faster and a little tougher to tell but there is no way that Smid’s gloves are off before the fight starts. And just like Kulemin did his part to instigate the fight, Smid has his role in this fight too. In defense of a teammate Smid challenges Avery to a fight. Why you’d honour a snake like Avery and not just jump him I don’t know. Given the option to fight a player expecting a fight Avery declines first and then drops his gloves and goes after Smid.
In both cases a far less experienced fighter gets knocked around by a much tougher opponent. The biggest difference is what that player should have expected. Smid’s fight offer was declined by Avery, Kulemin was actively engaged with Gleason. Seems to me that if either player should have expected a fight it should have been Kulemin.
You could argue that both were sucker punches and I’m not sure I’d disagree with you. I do know that Avery deserved to be suspended for the Smid incident and wasn’t. With that precedent and looking at the evidence I seriously doubt that Gleason could be suspended for last nights incident but the “NHL Wheel of Justice” spins in mysterious ways so I guess anything is possible.