Posted 3:06 AM ET | Comments 5
In the Vancouver-Philadelphia game, Flyers winger Jesse Boulerice viciously two handed Canucks center Ryan Kesler in the jaw. It was a flagrant, brutal action and Boulerice is certainly deserving of a nice, long suspension.
Where it gets interesting is the Flyers have a guy currently suspended. That would be Steve Downie, who was suspended for twenty games for his brutal hit on Ottawa's Dean McAmmond. In my humble opinion, Boulerice's hit was worse than Downie's because he used his stick as a weapon. Kesler's jaw could have been shattered easily by Boulerice's actions.
This is the time for NHL discipline Czar Colin Campbell to prove the NHL isn't just talking a good game when it comes to head shots. Boulerice has at least one stick incident in his past and clearly intended to injure Kesler. Any suspension short of twenty games shows that Campbell is only full of bluster about ridding the game of head shots. It also shows that Steve Downie's well publicized temper and history of incidents was a factor in his suspension, despite Campbell's contradictory statements.
Campbell needs to make a strong statement after this attack on Kesler, regardless of how visible a player's past is, or what his name is, or how popular he is around the league. There is no place in the game for the Boulerices, Todd Bertuzzis and Chris Simons of the world.
I feel twenty games was too many for Downie, considering similar hits by the likes of Brooks Orpik, Colby Armstrong and Ryan Hollweg were not punished as severely or at all. However, I did say(and continue to say) that if twenty games is going to be the benchmark, that is what Downie deserves. It is certainly what Jesse Boulerice deserves.