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Grounded Flyer

BoulericeSorry about the lack of posts the past two days. Yesterday I drove back from Tampa and the two Nike outlets along the way slowed my progress. Today, I had to travel to Miami.

To make the usual drive worse, the Prez is in town which just snarled things up pretty nastily.

Caught a glimpse of the Presidential limo parked outside the Omni; things must be getting tough. Apparently they traded in the Cadillac for a Kia.

The big news in hockey is the Panthers finally winning a game. Actually, the big story comes from Philly where the NHL suspended Flyers' forward Jesse Boulerice for a whopping 25 games without pay. The suspension is, of course, in reaction to his ugly crosscheck of Vancouver's Ryan Kessler.

“This was more than a careless and reckless play – it was senseless,” Colin Campbell said in a statement. "We will not tolerate this kind of conduct.''

I agree. Boulerice went to the head with his stick. What did he think would be the end result? He went after Kessler in the heat of things, and now he's going to pay for his reckless play. I do think the 25 games is a good number, and the NHL is sending a signal to its players that this crap isn't going to be tolerated.  The suspension is longest in NHL history -- tied with the suspension given to the Islanders  Chris Simon last year. Incidentally, Simon's suspension ends this weekend -- when the Islanders play the Flyers.

Here's some stuff out of Philly: Because Steve Downie was suspended for 20 games and Boulerice has been hit with 25, the two might have to alternate time on the roster. That means the suspensions could last longer than scheduled.

Says GM Paul Holmgren: "I did suspect the worst. I expected (fewer games) than this, but I talked to Jesse and this was a careless act on his part. I think Colin Campbell is in a very difficult position. I respect the work he does and based on what the league is trying to do in terms of hits to the head, it’s probably a fair penalty.''

And: "We’re all in agreement, There’s no place in the game for this anymore. I think Jesse just lost his composure, lost his cool, and it was not the right thing to do - at any time.''

Thanks to Charles Gormley of the South Jersey Courier-Post for the notes.

Thoughts on the suspension...Too much? Too little? Too much too soon?

As always, posting comments is free...

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Hi George

I think the league got this one right. Any use of the stick like this deserves a harsh penalty. 25 games is fair and consistent with past penalties for similar incidents. On the other hand, I think the league got the Downie call wrong. The suspension was far too long for that particular hit. 10 games would have been fair in that case.

Good note Mike; only I think the league put the hammer to Downie because he obviously did that to make a name for himself in camp. He's not the first to do it, won't be the last. But it's a dangerous game to be playing.

Surprised you neglected to mention Boulerice's history, George - he was kicked out of the ECHL years ago for swinging his stick baseball-bat style across the head of Florida Panthers' prospect Andrew Long. It permanently derailed Long's pro hockey career, as he returned from a lengthy injury a much changed (for the worse) player.

The Flyers signed Boulerice that same year, if I recall correctly.

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