St. Louis forward Maxim Lapierre has been suspended five games for boarding Sharks defenseman Dan Boyle during a 6-2 loss on Tuesday, the NHL has announced.
Lapierre, 28, was given a five-minute major and game misconduct for the hit, and has already served one game of his suspension (Thursday night’s 3-2 shootout win over Chicago), as he was prevented from playing until his in-person hearing with the NHL’s Player Safety Department, which occurred on Friday.
In his explanatory video, NHL discipline czar Brendan Shanahan noted that Boyle’s loss of balance contributed to the collision, which ended in a “violent result” causing “serious injury.”
That said, Lapierre didn’t escape culpability.
“Lapierre uses his arms to finish [Boyle] high and in the back, causing Boyle’s jaw to hit the blue dasher on top of the boards, and knocking him unconscious,” Shanahan explained. “At no point does Lapierre see anything other than Boyle’s numbers when he decides to finish him on this check.”
Here’s the video. It’s worth a watch, given Shanahan goes into great detail about what constitutes boarding and how the hitter (in this case, Lapierre) bears responsibility, especially if the hit “causes the opponent to hit or impact the boards violently or dangerously.”
It’s also worth noting that Lapierre’s history was taken into account — he was suspended in 2010 for a similar boarding incident against Scot Nichol.
Under the terms of the Collective Bargaining Agreement and, based on his average annual salary, Lapierre will forfeit $28,205, money that will go the Players’ Emergency Assistance Fund.
Lapierre is eligible to return to the St. Louis lineup on Nov. 1, against the Florida Panthers.
Update 6:31 p.m. ET
Interesting note here from TVA’s Louis Jean about Lapierre’s meeting at NHL headquarters:
Part of the in-person hearing w/ Lapierre today was to educate him on his play. He was warned last year to cease hitting from behind.
— Louis Jean (@LouisJean_TVA) October 18, 2013