The NHL has made it clear, it will not tolerate cheap shots, especially those targeting opposing players heads. They sent a video to each franchise detailing what actions would provoke a suspension. Then they suspended Steve Downie of the Philadelphia Flyers for a hit to the head on Dean McAmmond in a preseason game.
But still, another player has made a name for himself for all the wrong reasons. During Wednesday night's Flyers vs. Vancouver Canucks game, Flyers Jesse Boulerice delivered a vicious cross-check to the face of Vancouver's Ryan Kesler. Boulerice received a match penalty for intent to injure, a penalty that comes with an automatic league review.
The word came down from Colin Campbell today, and the hit, which was apparently in retaliation to a hit Kesler threw behind the net, has earned Boulerice a 25-game suspension.
Hockey is an physically challenging sport, where players are bound to be hurt. But there is no place in the game for an illegal hit with intent to injure.