Monday, October 15, 2007

Flyers waive goodbye to Boulerice

With the cacophony of noise over Jesse Boulerice’s vicious cross check last week of Vancouver’s Ryan Kesler still ringing in their ears, the Philadelphia Flyers have decided to put the now suspended Boulerice on waivers.

Prior to last Friday’s disciplinary hearing with Colin Campbell, the call in some quarters of the NHL was for Boulerice to be suspended for a lengthy term, with even one or two calls for a lifetime ban.

So, it would seem that the Flyers are offering their fellow NHL partners the opportunity to do just that, by ignoring Boulerice’s offerings and letting him slide through the cracks of NHL bureaucracy, perhaps to never be seen in the NHL again.

Cynics might note that the Flyers no doubt knew what Boulerice brought to the line up when they dressed him night in and out and considering his checkered past in junior hockey and beyond, they surely can’t claim to have been surprised by what took place.

While putting him on waivers is smart business sense we assume, it does seem to be seeking absolution by simply dismissing the problem that the Boulerice hit has caused to their conscience. Washing their hands of the unfortunate incident, without having to take a sense of responsibility for the team they had crafted this season.

Interestingly enough, Steve Downie who was involved in another brutal attack earlier in September has not been placed on waivers as he serves his twenty game suspension, suggesting that the Flyers may have a sliding scale when it comes to degrees of conscience it seems.
Considering their marketing strategy at the start of the season as Michael Farber of Sports Illustrated outlines on the magazines website, it's not surprising that things have unravelled as fast as they have on the ice in Pennsylvania this season.
A look over their line up and the past penalty minutes of their additions, seems to have pre-ordained multiple sessions with Colin Campbell through the year, but not even the Flyer's could have imagined the sudden speed of their violent downfall.

The news out of Philadelphia came after Kesler recounted a conversation with Boulerice, who had phoned to apologize for the dangerous cross check and inquired as to the state of Kesler’s health.

We suspect that those two won’t become phone pals anytime soon, but considering Boulerice’s current situation, the next phone call he makes to anyone in the NHL may be to ask someone for another chance, once his 25 games have been served.

It will be a test of where the NHL sees itself going on the ice from here on, if anyone takes the call.

(Photo above, appeared on the SI website)

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