Former Hurricane Jesse Boulerice was suspended for 25 games by the National Hockey League today for this vicious and dangerous hit on Ryan Kesler of the Vancouver Canucks.
Boulerice, playing for the Philadelphia Flyers, was penalized on the play; the stick foul resulted in an immediate match penalty as per Rule 21 for the deliberate injury of an opponent.
“I reacted in a bad way – the wrong way,” Boulerice said after the incident. “I wanted to give him a hit back.”
The two had a running battle during most of the game, which Philadelphia won 8-2. Philly was up 7-2 with just over eight minutes left when the incident occured.
The NHL’s press release said the 25-game suspension tied the longest sentence ever handed down by the NHL with the 25-game ban Chris Simon received for his two-hander to Ryan Hollweg last season. Simon is still serving his sentence, while Boulerice will not be eligible to return until Dec. 13 at Montreal.
“This was more than a careless and reckless play – it was senseless,” NHL Senior Executive Vice President of Hockey Operations Colin Campbell said. “This was a deliberate crosscheck to the face where Jesse Boulerice broke the shaft of his stick on Ryan Kesler’s jaw. Boulerice went out of his way to deliver the crosscheck and we will not tolerate this kind of conduct.”