Kim Strba's sister phoned her at work Thursday night, long distance no less, to pass on news that Strba's son Taylor had been in a fight.

It was vaguely reminiscent of a call Strba received from a staff member at Taylor's junior high school in Calgary a handful of years ago.

"I wasn't too happy. You get the call from the school, 'Come pick up your child, he's been in a fight.' "

Back then, Strba arrived to find Taylor with a split lip that was obviously going to require stitches. They jumped into her car and headed for a doctor's office but couldn't get the repairs done -- there wasn't a big enough needle on the premises -- so Strba and Taylor wound up driving to a hospital emergency department.

A doctor stitched up the youngster and advised him against further pugilism, then it was back into the car for the ride home.

"I was kind of giving him the silent treatment," said Strba, chuckling at the memory. "It had been about two hours and he finally said 'Mom, don't you even want to know how I did?' He thought he won that one."

An older, bigger and rather more famous Taylor Hall suffered a season-ending high ankle sprain during his first NHL scrap, with Derek Dorsett of the Columbus Blue Jackets on Thursday. Hall's left toe picked into the ice as the two fell and his fabulous rookie season came crashing down.

"I told him that's just a freak thing," said his father Steve Hall.

"But as far as trepidation when he's fighting, you have as much chance getting hurt in a fight as you do going to the net. And if you don't want to go to the net in hockey, get behind the bench and coach."

Taylor prefers the thick of battle, and his first National Hockey League fight is proof positive. When Dorsett slashed Hall in open ice, it was in retaliation for a shoulder Hall put into Matt Calvert earlier in a shift that also saw Hall undress Columbus defenceman Fedor Tyutin on a spirited rush to the net. Hall and Dorsett then fought one another for the puck along the side boards before exchanging whacks and finally dropping the gloves.