Boulerice Got Off Too Easy

Thanks to expansion, the number of players in the NHL has increased significantly. The result of that has been talent spread far too thin across the league and several players making it to the show when it is clear, they simply do not belong.

The players I am referring to are players like Jesse Boulerice. Boulerice today was suspended 25 games for his stick infraction to the face of Ryan Kesler.

Here is the story:

This was a chance for the NHL to really take to task a player like Boulerice who does not belong in the NHL nor represents the league in any good way.

He is simply put a Thug. We saw that with his viscious attack on a player when he played in Major Jr hockey, and we saw that the other night in Vancouver against Kesler. He brings nothing to the game except another dirty cheap shot artist who makes a living hurting other players.

This was a chance for Commissioner Gary Bettman and President Colin Campbell to really take action and really send a message that these types of players do not deserve to represent any one of the 30 existing teams in the league.

Instead he will miss a 3rd of the season and in time will be back doing what he does best, contributing nothing in terms of speed, skill and entertainment except play the role of a hitman you would more likely find in a WWE wrestling ring.

After some worthy suspensions handed out to the likes of Mark Bell for drunk driving and Steve Downie for his dirty hit on Dean McAmmond, the league dropped the ball on this one.

I can only assume that because Kesler was not seriously hurt, this viscious attack was deemed to be not really that damaging.

I think this hurts the image of the NHL. While the fans seem to love the fighting and the violence of the sport, there is no place for thuggery and such blatant assault. Its appauling when someone does this walking down the street, it should be the same for when this happens on the ice.

This has nothing to do with policing the game and taking vigilanty justice in their own hands that some players and others have stood by. They say the league needs players like Boulerice to “take care of things” in order to prevent excessive violence and cheap shots from getting out of hand.

I believe the mindset is that if stuff like this ends, so will the hitting and physicality of the game. Swinging their stick into someone’s face has nothing to do with hitting or being tough or physical. Its dirty, its cheap and it has no place in hockey.

When will people realize that its these very players who commit these horrible acts. The McSorleys, the Domi’s the Simon’s, the Boulerice’s. they are the ones who cause all this stuff in the first place. To assume that we need these types to save the likes of Sakic, Modano, Crosby is pretty much a joke.

This isnt going to end. The suspensions they hand out sort of show the league doesnt want this to end. I can only assume that it will take someone ending another player’s life with a horrible act for the league to see the light.

16 Responses to Boulerice Got Off Too Easy

  1. habsrock99 says:

    Though I agree with most of what you said and I disagree with these cheap shot artists. But the thing is, these types of players have been around since the beginning of Hockey. Look at 2 of the most violent hockey players of all-time, Sprague and Odie Cleghorn. They have been apart of some of the most brutal and bloody acts in history. Or look at Eddie Shack or Eddie Shore, they were involved in some of the bloodiest stick fights ever. The fans enjoyed these acts. Now, times have changed and the media conscious NHL does in fact want to eliminate all types of physical violence in the game. Look at the Instigator rule, which eliminated fighting for the most part because now, these fighters can't protect their star team mates because they'll hurt their own team. I say eliminate the Instigator rule and cheap shots will decrease league wide.

  2. papichulo71 says:

    You do know that Boulerice isn't getting paid while suspended.  The guy finally gets an entry level contract ($475,000) and now he *****s himself over.

    I'm not saying what he did was justifiable but taking almost half a year off without pay would certainly open my eyes.

    Keep the league discipline where its at.  These actions are the players' responsibility and it's up to them to change.

  3. leafy says:

    I agree.  There's no call for this type of behavior in hockey.  Although it's good to see stiffer penalties than in the past, it's not nearly enough in my view.  It's very simple: if you intend to injure an opponent, you lose your playing privileges for at least one year mandatory, possibly longer depending on the infraction.

    Is it just me, or was there less of this stuff during the golden years of fighting (ie, 1970s and 80s)?  Back then, a good old fashion bench-clearing brouhaha used to clear all the bad blood (no pun intended).

  4. Rico71 says:

    It hurts him in the wallet.

    But its his head that needs fixing, not his finances.

    This guy is a proven stick swinger. He flips out and swings hockey sticks in people's faces. He smashed a guy in the OHL 10 years ago…and now he repeats the same ugly trick. This guy is a danger to anyone on the ice.

    In the post-game interview…he mumbles some stupid comment about…'I wanted to hit him back'…?

    This guy was standing in front of the net and WAITING for Kesler to skate by. He planned the hit.

    Sick muthafoker.

  5. leaffaninva says:

    This is the second such infraction by someone in the flyer's orginization correct?

    I agree to most of your comments and the punishments handed down by the NHL are starting to increase in length.  However, Boulerice just saw another player in his org. get a 20 game suspension from the NHL and, a month suspension from the farm and he still didn't get the message.  I would personally love to see the Flyers give this guy an outright release from any and all affiliates of thier organization.  This will then put some pressure on all professional clubs to monitor and also be accountable for thier players actions.

    Yes, the instigator rule is (IMO) partially responsible in contributing to some of these jacka$$es actions in retaliating to cheap shots.  If they want to settle a score – let them drop the gloves.  The reality with fighting in the NHL is that it's ingrained into the game.  No matter what rule you install to curb it, it's still not punishable (other then with penalty mins) as it is in other professional sports.  If the NHL continues to only punish fighting with a mere timed penalty – then it will always be a part of the game unless the ban it outright and hand out suspensions for each instance.

    Boulerice got a fair punishment and his name will soon be forgotten as I believe he'll never be playing in bigs again.

    Most enforcers that have played any sugnificant time in the NHL know not to cross that line with, the exceptions of your McSorleys, Simons etc.  The league and all it's teams need to put a stop to all these wanna be NHL'ers coming up from the minors that – they need to find another way of making them stand out other then on ice enforcement or skull crushing hits

  6. Veggetto19 says:

    Hey yea what he did was WAAAAYYYYY wrong but comon this is bullshit he got what he deserves he is not a great player he is a goon He got suspended he will proabably not play another nhl game But he did not cripple a player he did not make a player walk with a limp for the rest of his life like bertuzzi did and when he did that he did it with major intent to hurt steve more and his suspension was a slap in the wrist compared to this the nhl is just making examples of players now yea jesse deserves this im not saying he doesent and downie deserved it also but players have done worse and because they are not you r" goon's" they get off easy Prime example bertuzzi HE ENDED A GUYS CAREER HE SHOULD NEVER PLAY HOCKEY AGAIN JUST LIKE HIS VICTIM!!!!!!!!

  7. bishop7979x says:

    Before I start I am in no way defending this guy, his style of play or the hit in general.  In fact I had a couple flyer fans up my @ss over comments I made about the downie hit, anouther play and anouther player that does not deserve to be in the league given that like boulerice downie has a history of disrespectful and dangerous plays with their sticks in the OHL and now at the NHL level.

    That being said i want to comment on the line from this post that refers to expansion spreading talent to thin and blaming that for the reason players such as boulerice are in the league.  That is total BS.  It is the teams fault that players such as Eager and Boulerice are in the lineup night after night.  

    The Flyers have a history of playing "tough guys" players such as Fedoruk, Kane, Brashear, Mcallister, Berube, Mccarthy and Richardson.   There are players who are in the AHL who, based on talent and potential alone, belong in the NHL before goons like these, its the coach and management that chooses to sign and dress these guys knowing that they barely players to begin with, that they are, to quote espn, little more than boxers on skates.

    If the Flyers have to spend 475k on a player, they could have looked towards some of the guys who fled to europe over the last couple seasons to get that playing time, guys like Rasmusen, Fresien, petrovicki, bogonicki, these are guys that would give a team gritty physical play . . . and potentially add 10 or more goals a season to the team.
    Why even waste a draft pick on a guy like boulerice in the first place?  This is a guy whose best year was two years after the flyers drafted him and he got 20 goals in the OHL.   

    Yes expansion has been bad for the NHL, but the flyers would still have brought a guy in with Boulerices "talents" even if it were a 24 team league, its what they do. 

    Its not that I have something against goons, far from it, I enjoy physcial hockey, but clean physical hockey.  i do have something against talentless goons.  At least guys like steve avery, chris neil and george larague can play, they can be put out on the ice for more than the 3 mins of average ice time boulerice gets a game and not be a liability.

    So if you want to blame someone besides Boulerice, look at the flyers as an organization, they signed him over other players, sent more skilled players to the minors to make room for him, they dressed him for a game, they sent him over the boards with their logo on his chest.   

  8. nonhl2005 says:

    This is not because of expansion but because of the salary cap causing teams to bring up guys not worthy ( Boulerice ) while other guys more capable sit in the minors becauce they make more money.

  9. MR40 says:

    It doesn’t matter if he didn’t injured him. If the stick didn’t break, he would have been out for a long time.

  10. thiefage says:

    kick him out of the NHL.  i don't give a shit.  i don't want this d-bag on my team anyway.  i hope he doesn't end up on the phantoms either.  throw him back on the river rats with all the other jocko homo scumbags.

    speaking of the phantoms…  how about boucher?!  keep it up buddy, and niittymaki might be moving into his old lockerroom space in the spectrum again.

  11. NHLman says:

    Two Flyers suspended… I'm not going to say there's a causation yet, need more  sample, but there is certainly a correlation as of now;  I'm referring to the Flyers coaching. I believe the Flyers coach, John Stevens, has been responsible for his players over-aggressive play. I'm not saying the players aren't at fault, but since Stevens has taken over the team, it seems that the team has been walking along the edge. I would look to maybe suspend Stevens if another incident occurs.

  12. thiefage says:

    ehh, i don't think it's as much stevens as it is the flyers organization putting over aggressive players with violent histories on their team.  stevens doesn't strike me as the kind of coach to tell a player to go out and knock someone's block off when the team is up 7-2.  but hey, i could be wrong.

  13. rx79msg says:

    LOL suspend the coach cause this kid did this? Thats the dumbest thing I've heard in awhile. Stevens is a good coach and he cant control everything 2 morons do. No coach can thats the case they shoulda suspened bertuzzis coach. Or your parents for raising a dummy.

  14. Rico71 says:

    Downie is young but has proven in the OHL that he was a goon with a temper.

    Boulerice is 29 years old. No kid there. He almost decapitated a player in the OHL…he never played after that. Boulerice was suspended for a whole year.

    Crawford was partially to blame for what happened to Moore. He basically told the media that Moore had it coming to him. Bertuzzi just happened to be the one to seek vengeance. A real ugly incident.

    If another Flyers player does something like this over the rest of the season, I would fine John Stevens. If he can't control his goons, fine his butt.

  15. flyav says:

    25 games is a fair suspension.
    This guy probably won't ever play for the Flyers again and he shouldn't, I questioned why we were starting him anyways.

    As for all this talk about the talent in the NHL being spread too thin because expansion, I think that is complete crap.  Every team in the league has atleast a star player or more.  Which you don't see in the MLB or the NBA (where only 5 players start).  I mean there is so much talent from all over the world, that there are skilled players that have to go to Europe to find a job.

    But when you take a look at a hockey team there are roles that need to be played.  You can't just send out all 12 forwards and have them think of only offense and forget D.  You need to have a line that thinks of D first, controls the puck and creates energy for the fans and their teamates through physical play.  However maybe most important of all is that the energy line has to be smart, they can't take stupid penalties.

    This incident by Boulerice is unexcusable.  But the way to stop these types of things from happening in the future is not to get rid of a couple of the teams in the league but rather by bringing back accountability by getting rid of the instigator rule.

  16. AHLoldie says:

    The real problem here is that if you ask just about any Flyer fan, they will ***** about the suspension.  I lived in Philly during the 70s and the fans haven't changed much at all.  They still want big, brutal hockey players, and hate the new rules.  We even have problems with the kids coming to the western part of the state from the Philadelphia area during the high school and youth tournaments.  They emulate the Flyers, and the amateur officials have a rough time controlling their actions.  Even the officiating is bad because they are graduates of the system.  State championships are held in either Pittsburgh or Hershey, never in Philadelphia.  Teams from the west would refuse to play there.

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