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Max Lapierre gets in-person NHL hearing; Sharks claim he threatened them

Sean Leahy
Puck Daddy

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Dan Boyle was "doing OK", according to San Jose Sharks head Todd McLellan after Tuesday night's 6-2 win over the St. Louis Blues. The 37-year old defenseman was taken off the ice on a stretcher following a hit along the board from Max Lapierre in the first period:

Boyle stayed at a local hospital over night for evaluation. A team spokesman told CSN Bay Area's Kevin Kurz that Boyle was “alert and moving his extremities” en route to the hospital, so that's good news. In a text to ESPN.com's Pierre LeBrun, Boyle said, "I'm doing ok, thank you for your concern and support... Means a lot to me. I've never once taken this game or any of my fans for granted. Hope to be back soon."

(UPDATE: The Sharks sent out this update on Boyle: "Sharks defenseman Dan Boyle was kept overnight at a hospital in St. Louis. He will be returning to San Jose later today to continue his medical care and undergo further evaluation.")

“He's playing hard, he's not trying to hurt anyone," said Blues captain David Backes. "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.”

On Wednesday morning, the NHL confirmed that Lapierre has been asked to have an in-person hearing and TVA's Renaud Lavoie Tweets it will happen Friday in New York. Whatever the suspension decision, it will include the two games he'll miss: Thursday in Chicago and Friday in Winnipeg.

Lapierre was given a five minute major for checking from behind and a game misconduct. He was last suspended in 2010 for four games after a hit from behind on Scott Nichol, then of the Sharks. By the terms of the CBA, he isn't considered a repeat offender, but previous history does come into play when a supplemental discipline decision needs to be made.

And you wonder if Logan Couture's comments will play into the hearing process.

"After the first shift he's yelling at us from their bench he's coming after us, then he does that. It's pretty gutless," Couture said. "Then he turtles. Be a man if you're going to make a hit like that. Fight someone. Don't turtle. Ran right behind the linesman. Nothing else to say about that."

It's a he said/he said situation, so unless the Department of Player Safety has one of the referees or another source confirm that allegation, it's impossible to prove, but something that Lapierre will likely be asked about.

Afterward, McLellan put it on the players themselves to take these kind of hits out of the game. Shanahan and the DoPS can only do so much.

"It's the player's game. We just went through a lockout to try and fix things," he said. "The players had huge input into how they want the game to be played. The respect factor is not where it needs to be.

"Hard and stupid are two different things."

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Sean Leahy is the assistant editor for Puck Daddy on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at puckdaddyblog@yahoo.com or follow him on Twitter!

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