The NHL handed St. Louis Blues forward Maxim Lapierre a five game suspension for the illegal check on San Jose's Dan Boyle during Tuesday's game in St. Louis. Lapierre attended the NHL hearing in New York on Friday afternoon, where he was notified he would be suspended with out pay. He will forfeit $28,205.15 in pay, which will be donated to the Players' Emergency Assistance Fund. The game he missed while awaiting the disciplinary hearing will count towards his suspension. Click here for a detailed explanation of the ruling.
The suspension seems a bit like a slap on the wrist for the violent hit that rendered Boyle unconscious and unresponsive for several minutes. Many in the Sharks organization were hoping for at least a ten game suspension for the hit, considering he has a history with San Jose. He was suspended for four games in 2010 for a check on former Sharks center Scott Nichol. The Department of Player Safety looked at Lapierre's history, but noted that Boyle seemed to be losing his footing before the hit, which "clearly" contributed to him being more vulnerable and resulting in such a severe hit.
Sounds fishy to us. Yes, Boyle was in a lowered position, but does that give Lapierre a hall pass to slam him into the boards? Though the extent of Boyle's injuries are not yet known, he was very lucky to have only spent a night in the hospital and not be resigned to life in a wheelchair.
Can't wait to see how the Sharks will receive Lapierre when the Blues visit SAP Center on Nov. 29.
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