Oct 15, 2013; St. Louis, MO, USA; San Jose Sharks defenseman Dan Boyle (22) is taken off the ice after being injured during the first period against the St. Louis Blues at Scottrade Center. Mandatory Credit: Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports
Mike Brehm, USA TODAY Sports for KSDK Sports
(KSDK Sports) -- Soon after a message-sending, 10-game suspension to Buffalo Sabres forward Patrick Kaleta was announced by NHL disciplinarian Brendan Shanahan, San Jose Sharks defenseman Dan Boyle left the ice on a stretcher because of a hit from behind.
Now, St. Louis Blues forward Maxim Lapierre faces the potential of a long suspension because of his actions.
He has been offered an in-person person, meaning the possibility of six games or more. Canadian reporter Renaud Lavoie tweeted that the hearing would be on Friday. Lapierre is suspended until then.
His first-period hit on Tuesday, square in the numbers, sent Boyle hard into the boards. Boyle's face hit the lip of the boards and he was taken to the hospital, where he was alert and moving his extremities upon arrival, the team said.
"Sharks defenseman Dan Boyle was kept overnight at a hospital in St. Louis," the Sharks said in an update on Wednesday. "He will be returning to San Jose later today to continue his medical care and undergo further evaluation."
Sharks players, though upset by the hit, scored twice on the ensuing five-minute major on the way to building a 5-0 lead and 6-2 victory that extended their record to 6-0. The Blues fell to 4-1.
Sharks coach Todd McLellan, in his post-game news conference, told reporters that the hit was "needless. Doesn't have to happen in our game." He added about such hits continuing to happen: "The respect factor isn't where it needs to be. Hard and stupid are two different things."
Beyond the initial shock, the Sharks will have to deal with finding a way to replace Boyle, their No. 1 defenseman, if he's out long. He averaged more than 23 minutes a game this season before the injury and is on their top power-play unit.
Defenseman Brad Stuart is eligible to return on Thursday after serving his three-game suspension for a head hit on the New York Rangers' Rick Nash.
Shanahan said he gave Kaleta a double-digit suspension, for his head hit on Columbus Blue Jackets defenseman Jack Johnson, because of his history of appearing before the NHL. Kaleta had three previous suspensions and three fines over the past four seasons. Johnson was unhurt on the play.
Lapierre has been suspended once before, four games in March 2010 for a hit from behind while he was with the Montreal Canadiens.