Saturday, October 13, 2007

25 games! Sheriff Campbell passes judgement

Grand pappy told my pappy, back in my day, son
A man had to answer for the wicked that he done
Take all the rope in Texas Find a tall oak tree,
Round up all of them bad boys
Hang them high in the street for all the people to see
--Toby Keith's Beer for my horses

Justice has once again been served in the NHL, as the league’s chief agent of discipline cracked down hard on the Philadelphia Flyer’s Jesse Boulerice. His dangerous cross check to the face of Ryan Kesley Wednesday night brought him a twenty five game suspension, the strongest discipline meted out since last season’s Chris Simon attack on the Rangers' Ryan Hollweg, that attack seems to have become the benchmark for on ice violence this year in the NHL.

"This was more than a careless and reckless play — it was senseless," said Campbell.

Campbell pointed out that Boulerice and the league for that matter were quite fortunate that Kesler was not injured by the ugly bit of work by the Flyer. In two previous incidents similar in nature, the British Columbia legal process came into play, when Donald Brashear was clubbed on the head by Marty McSorley back in 2000 and more recently a few years ago in 2004, when Todd Bertuzzi attacked Steve Moore at GM Place.

In fact facing the legal system would not be an unusual process for Boulerice who faced charges over an ugly OHL playoff incident during his junior years, which almost cost Andrew Long his life.

Campbell clearly concerned for the safety of the league’s player if not for the image of the league was quick with his decision, announcing the punishment a few short hours after meeting with the Flyers GM Paul Holmgren.
However, hockey fans must be wondering if Gary Bettman might find some time to address the ugliness coming out of his domain. The commissioner has been strangely quiet on the issue, leaving it to Campbell to put the corporate face on a very ugly period for the NHL.

The Flyers for their part stated that Boulerice was going to have to “stand up and pay the price”, his suspension marks the second time in a month that a Flyer has been taken out of active duty because of misbehaviour.

Boulerice joins fellow Flyer Steve Downie in being assigned to the Colin Campbell Wing of the NHL detention system, which means that if you can skate, the Flyers might need you.

With forty five games combined, there are a few openings on the Flyers roster at the moment, video tapes and resumes should be addressed to Paul Holmgren, General Manager, Philadelphia Flyers.

We suggest leaving out any testosterone fuelled segments; the Flyers are probably looking to keep a low profile for a little while now...

Especially considering the rising tide of support for the idea to punish the Flyers organization as well, should any further crimes and misdemeanors continue while on the ice.

Globe and Mail--What to do next time
Philadelphia Inquirer- Boulerice banned 25 games by NHL

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