<
>

Boulerice waived after receiving 25-game suspension

PHILADELPHIA -- Jesse Boulerice, who last week was given the
longest single-season suspension in NHL history for hitting a
player in the face with his stick, was placed on waivers by the
Flyers on Monday.

The 29-year-old Boulerice was suspended 25 games by the league
for cross-checking the Canucks' Ryan Kesler in the face on
Wednesday. The penalty matched the ban given to New York Islanders
forward Chris Simon in March for his two-handed stick attack of
Ryan Hollweg of the New York Rangers.

Flyers general manager Paul Holmgren said the decision was based
on the team's need for more roster space while dealing with
injuries.

"It just gives us more freedom to do more things with our
roster, that's all," Holmgren said. "Other than that, there's
nothing behind it."

The Flyers signed Boulerice as a free agent in the offseason.

A 6-foot-2, 215-pound right wing, Boulerice has 319 penalty
minutes in limited playing time during five NHL seasons. He has
eight goals and two assists in 167 career games.

Boulerice was the second Flyers player to face a lengthy
suspension this season.

Philadelphia (3-1) lost rookie Steve Downie for 20 games last
month for leaving his feet to deliver a hit to the head of Ottawa's
Dean McAmmond in a preseason game. He was assigned to the team's
American Hockey League affiliate, the Philadelphia Phantoms, where
he suspended for the first month of the season. He is eligible to
play in the AHL on Nov. 3.

In 1998, Boulerice was suspended for one year by the Ontario
Hockey League for violent stick-swinging. He went to the AHL the
following season and was ruled ineligible until mid-November.