St. Louis Blues forward Maxim Lapierre issued an apology to San Jose Sharks defenseman Dan Boyle on Wednesday after issuing a dirty hit on Boyle the night before.
The hit, which occurred midway through the first period, triggered a line brawl as Boyle lay on the ice, unconscious. He was taken off the ice in a stretcher and sent immediately to the hospital.
“First of all, I would like to apologize to Dan,” Lapierre told the St. Louis Dispatch. “You never want to see someone feel that way and, as tough as it is to look at for the fans and his teammates, I feel the same way.”
Sharks players did not hold back when asked about the hit, which earned Lapierre a game misconduct.
“Things like that happen, especially when idiots are idiots,” Joe Pavelski told Kevin Kurz of CSN Bay Area. “Dan’s a world-class defenseman, there’s straight numbers (from behind) – there’s guys in this league that will target that. It doesn’t matter. They just go. It sucks.”
Logan Couture told Kurz that Lapierre warned the Sharks that he would come after them.
“A player that probably shouldn’t even be in the league is taking out one of the best players in the world.” said Couture. “That guy’s got a history. After the first shift, he’s yelling at us from their bench that he’s coming after us, and then he does that. I don’t even know. It’s pretty gutless.”
Lapierre will head to New York for a meeting with NHL officials to decide his punishment, which will likely be some kind of suspension and fine.
“It’s tough to separate a guy that’s yapping from a guy who tries to hurt people,” said Lapierre. “I know I’m the type of guy who talks a lot on the ice, but it’s really not my intention to hurt anybody.”