This week we look at one of the Carolina Hurricanes former enforcers with Jesse Boulerice
In our weekly edition of Carolina Hurricanes Blast from the Past, we are going to look at Jesse Boulerice one of the Hurricanes many storied enforcers. Boulerice was able to play eight seasons in the NHL in his enforcer role until stricter fighting guidelines eventually made him obsolete. But still, during those eight seasons, Boulerice was the cause, and target, of a few reprehensible things. So let’s hop on our way back machine and go back to a time in hockey when fighting actually used to mean something I guess.
Jesse Boulerice was drafted 133rd overall in the fifth round of the 1996 NHL draft. As as far as crappy drafts go this was a bad one. The only two players to make All-Star teams that were drafted in the first round were Marco Sturm and Daniel Briere. Sturm is most notable as one of the pieces that San Jose sent Boston in return for Joe Thornton one of NHL’s top 100 players. Yeah, I don’t care what the NHL says they’re stupid; Thornton is was of the best players to ever lace up the skates. And while Sturm and Briere were solid players, I never met too many people that were eager to buy Danny Briere jerseys.
So it was a pretty bad draft, and Boulerice went very deep in a bad draft which should speak volumes. But Jesse wasn’t there to play hockey he was there to smash faces and smash faces he did. Boulerice spent time between the ECHL and AHL until the Flyers called him up in the 2001 season for four games. It wasn’t until next year with the Carolina Hurricanes that Boulerice would stick around in the NHL.
Time with the Carolina Hurricanes
Jesse had a couple memorable fights with the Hurricanes. Here’s the first one:
As I watch this I keep thinking to myself, “How does Jesse’s jersey just fall apart there?” Apparently that saying, “They just don’t make them like they used to,” doesn’t apply to NHL jerseys made between 2000 and 2004. Here’s another one where Boulerice drops Chris Neil:
This next fight by Boulerice, though, is perhaps his best-known moment as a member of the Carolina Hurricanes:
Boulerice suffered a concussion and a broken jaw from that one punch. Needless to say, I don’t think I’d let Aaron Downey punch me for a million bucks. All and all, though, Jess Boulerice didn’t do much more than fight and totaled eight goals and ten points in his three seasons with the Carolina Hurricanes who traded him in 2006 to the St. Louis Blues. Apparently, fighters aren’t really that critical to winning Stanley Cups it seems. He was just out on the ice to be a nasty dude as our next clip coming up will show.
Life after Hurricanes
After playing in Raleigh, Boulerice played mostly in the AHL although he played 16 games for the Blues for the rest of the 2006 season. Eventually, Boulerice made it back to the NHL with the Philadelphia Flyers in the 2008 season but wound up only play five games for them. It may have been a short span but Boulerice sure left and impression:
Ouch. And that was in a game the Flyers were winning 7-2 what message was there to send that the scoreboard didn’t already say? Boulerice received a 25 game ban for that the fourth largest in league history so far. Boulerice played four more years of hockey after that mostly in the AHL before retiring after the 2011 season. His career NHL totals were 182 games with 8 goals and 2 assists all coming from his time with the Carolina Hurricanes.