St. Louis Blues center Maxim Lapierre received a five-game suspension from the NHL on Friday for his dangerous hit from behind on San Jose Sharks defenseman Dan Boyle during Tuesday night’s game.
According to Sportsnet’s Chris Johnston, the ban will result in Lapierre forfeiting $28,205.15 of his salary.
“It’s undeniable that Boyle’s loss of balance just prior to contact made him much more vulnerable and contributed to the violent result,” said Brendan Shanahan of the NHL’s Department of Player Safety. “However, at no point does Lapierre see anything other than Boyle’s numbers when he decides to finish him on this check … If Lapierre does not illegally hit him in the numbers, Boyle’s face does not crash violently into the boards.”
It was a dangerous hit on a defenseless player, one that the league is trying to eliminate from the game.
Many people thought Lapierre would receive a longer suspension, but helping the Blues forward in this instance was the fact that he’s not a “repeat offender” under the terms of the current collective bargaining agreement because his previous suspension occurred more than 18 months ago.
Check out Shanahan’s full explanation of Lapierre’s suspension in the video below.