Blues' Lapierre likely facing suspension

From staff and wire reportsOctober 17, 2013 

St. Louis Blues forward Maxim Lapierre has been offered an in-person hearing for his hit that knocked out San Jose defenseman Dan Boyle.

The NHL Department of Player Safety announced Wednesday that Lapierre is suspended pending his hearing. Players have an opportunity for an in-person hearing for any suspension that could exceed five games and Lapierre is scheduled to meet with the NHL on Friday.

Lapierre was given a game misconduct for hitting Boyle from behind in the first period of San Jose's 6-2 win Wednesday night. Boyle was knocked out on the play and taken off the ice on a stretcher before spending the night at the hospital.

The Sharks say Boyle was expected to miss at least Thursday's game in Dallas.

Lapierre apologized Thursday for the hit on Boyle, the Sharks defenseman who also drew sympathy from Blues players.

"He's playing hard, he's not trying to hurt anyone," Blues captain David Backes said of Lapierre. "Unfortunately sometimes it happens. He's a guy that goes to war for us and he's an integral part of our team. He's feeling bad, he hopes Dan Boyle's fine just like the rest of us do."

Players from both teams applauded Boyle as he was taken off the ice on a stretcher.

"It's human nature to feel some empathy for him and his family," Backes said. "He's got a wife that was probably watching the game. My wife's been in that situation, my mom's been in that situation where you're down and your're hurt; they're panicked they can't help you.

"There's real emotion there and we can't say enough that we hope he's back soon."

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