The NHL handed down a five-game suspension for St. Louis Blues forward Maxim Lapierre, three days after he delivered a hit that forced a San Jose Sharks defenseman to leave the ice on a stretcher. The league announced the suspension on Friday.
Dan Boyle laid motionless on the ice after he was hit into the boards from behind by Lapierre on Tuesday night, and was held in a St. Louis hospital overnight. Lapierre earned a five-minute major for the boarding penalty, a game misconduct and a five-minute major for his involvement in the line brawl that ensued.
Lapierre was invited to an in-person hearing on Friday that was convened prior to the announcement of the punishment. After sitting out the Blues' game on Thursday night, Lapierre has four games remaining on his suspension, including Friday night's game against the Winnipeg Jets.
A 2003 draft pick of the Montreal Canadiens, Lapierre spent time with the Anaheim Ducks and Vancouver Canucks, as well, before joining the Blues on a two-year deal prior to the 2013 season. Through five games, he's taken two shots and hasn't recorded a goal or an assist. He will be available to return on Friday, Nov. 1 when St. Louis travels to face the Florida Panthers.
Boyle has since returned to San Jose, although there's no timetable on a return to the ice. On Thursday, his agent told Kevin Kurz of CSN Bay Area that the defenseman "feels great" and is not experiencing headaches.