Tag Archive | "Eric Boulton"

N.Y. Rangers trade for Thrashers’ Todd White

The New York Rangers traded two American-born players this morning moving enforcer Donald Brashear and his contract along with Patrick Rissmiller to the Atlanta Thrashers for forward Todd White.

The Rangers add the 35-year-old White after he recorded 26 points (seven goals, 19 assists) in 65 games last season. In all, White has collected 136 points (43 goals, 93 assists) in 221 games with Atlanta since being signed as a free agent on July 1, 2007.

Overall, the Kanata, Ontario native’s NHL career numbers include 140 goals and 239 assists for 379 points in 635 games with Chicago, Philadelphia, Ottawa, Minnesota and Atlanta.

Rissmiller, (20g, 27a, 47 pts.) in 69 AHL games last season with Grand Rapids and Hartford, also appeared in two NHL games with the Rangers. The Belmont, Mass., native was originally signed by the Sharks as a free agent on Sept. 23, 2002.

Overall, the 6-4, 215-pound left wing has tallied 45 points (18 goals, 27assists) in 182 career NHL games with San Jose and the Rangers.  He has appeared in 30 Stanley Cup Playoff games with the Sharks, posting seven points (three goals, four assists).  Rissmiller’s best season was the 2006-07 campaign when he recorded a career-high 22 points (seven goals, 15 assists) in 79 games with the Sharks. 

One of the league’s most feared enforcers, Brashear, 38, appeared in 36 games with the Rangers last season, recording one assist and 73 penalty minutes. The Thrashers placed Brashear on waivers right away and expect to buy out the remainder of his contract if no other team picks him up. Imagine that, Brashear was teammates for a day with Eric Boulton, pictured here fighting Brashear.

The 6-3, 240-pound left wing has posted 205 points (85 goals, 120 assists) and 2,634 penalty minutes in 1,025 career NHL games with Montreal, Vancouver, Philadelphia, Washington and the Rangers.  He has nine points (three goals, six assists) and 121 penalty minutes in 60 Stanley Cup Playoff games.

The Bedford, Indiana, native was originally signed by Montreal as a free agent on July 28, 1992.

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Enforcer Eric Boulton re-signs with Thrashers

The Atlanta Thrashers have announced they have re-signed forward Eric Boulton and although team policy is to not announce terms of deals, reports indicate the rugged enforcer will be making in the area of $650,000 this upcoming season.

There was speculation Boulton could possibly be moving on after new GM Rick Dudley acquired a few other tough players that could have possibly filled the role Boulton had held in the past.

More known for his aggressive style of play than putting points on the board, Boulton, 33, recorded 2g,6a-8pts in 62 games last season while spending 113 minutes in the penalty box. During that stretch, he became the franchise’s all-time leader in penalty minutes with 552 when he skated to the box on March 20 vs. Philadelphia.

In his career, the 6-1, 225-pound left wing has appeared in 480 regular-season NHL games with Atlanta and Buffalo, tallying 63 points, 21g,42a and 1,063 penalty minutes.

The native of Halifax, Nova Scotia was signed as a free agent by Atlanta on Aug. 8, 2005 and was originally drafted by the New York Rangers in the ninth round, 234th overall, of the 1994 NHL Entry Draft.

Prior to making his NHL debut in 2000-01, Boulton recorded 131 points (65 goals, 66 assists) in 319 career minor-league games with Charlotte (ECHL), Binghamton (AHL), Fort Wayne (IHL), Kentucky (AHL), Rochester (AHL) and Columbia (ECHL).

Used with permission of the author.

Jay Donetelli is a freelance sportswriter and contributor to Sports Climax. With an opinion sometimes sharper than an Ovechkin skate blade with the sting of an Ali jab, Donetelli has a loyal following of supporters who have found a way to love him.

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Bruins Pad Lead in NHL Playoffs Standings

ATLANTA, GA. – The Boston Bruins came into Philips Arena Tuesday night clinging onto the final Eastern ConferenceTuukka Rash playoff spot by just one point and at the final buzzer they left with a three-point cushion and a 4-0 season sweep over the Atlanta Thrashers.

Like in their last home game, a 5-2 win against the Flyers, the Thrashers came out playing physical, throwing several hard hits including a crunching check by Evgeny Artyukhin on Bruins’ center Vladimir Sobotka. Sobotka needed several seconds to get up on his feet and managed to glide slowly to his bench and never returned to the game.

Then at the 11-minute mark of the 1st period, Thrashers enforcer Eric Boulton squared off with Bruins forward Shawn Thornton for a slugfest with both players landing and taking several punches.

But although the Thrashers had a 6-3 edge in hits, the only goal in the period belonged to the Bruins’ David Krejci who put the puck past Johan ‘Moose’ Hedberg at the 9:25 mark for his 15th of the year.

That goal would prove to be the game-winner as the Bruins coasted to a 4-0 win.

In that first stanza, the Thrashers had several close-range quality scoring chances but shot the puck wide on several occasions and only managed 7 SOG against Boston rookie goaltender Tuukka Rask, the NHL leader in goals against average with 2.08.

Trailing 2-0 late in the 2nd period, Thrashers’ forward Colby Armstrong, who has been on a tear with 4 goals in 3 games, was awarded a penalty shot but failed to capitalize on the opportunity.

The Bruins responded by netting another goal with just 3 seconds remaining in the period to go into the second break with a 3-0 lead.

The Thrashers entered the game on a four game win streak and all those games were won after the team started with 2-0 leads. Atlanta is 4-28-6 when trailing after two periods and after falling behind by three against one of the NHL’s hottest goaltenders with just 20 minutes to play, there was no magic wand to wave on Tuesday.

After this home loss, the journey appears uphill from here as the Thrashers with just 9 games left find themselves 3 points behind that final playoff spot behind the Bruins who also have one game in hand.

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NHL enforcer Boulton talks about fight rules

ATLANTA – boulton-cote-fightThe talk of tweaking fight rules is nothing new to the NHL but the buzz this season has gained momentum after being fueled by two serious minor league incidents, one that resulted in death.Both of these incidents were the result of fighting and in both cases, the players lost their helmets during their altercations.

Earlier this season during an OHA game Don Sanderson, a 21-year-old rookie, went into a coma and later died after slamming his head on the ice and in an AHL contest, Garrett Klotz suffered a seizure from a head injury he received after removing his helmet to battle Kevin Westgarth.

Regardless of the intense public heat put on the leagues to implement tighter regulations or ban fighting from the sport, don’t expect fighting to completely disappear from the game. Eliminating such a popular and traditional asset of the game would create uproar from the fan base and cause economic strain on the sport.

Like it or not, some fans come out to see the fights. There’s a reason hard-nosed players like Donald Brashear, Riley Cote and Jared Boll are fan favorites. They represent what hockey is; a tough sport.

Atlanta Thrashers forward Eric Boulton is also no stranger to fisticuffs. After recording 131 points (65g 66a) and 1,374 penalty minutes in 319 minor league games, Boulton journeyed his way to the NHL where he has established himself as one of the game’s respected enforcers.

Recently, I sat down with the 7-year NHL veteran to get his feedback on the possibility of fight rule changes in the league.

“It’s unfortunate and sad what happened to that young man [Sanderson],” said Boulton. “I think there could be a few rules put in place, like not removing the helmet and maybe implementing a rule that you can’t toss a guy [to the ice] in a fight. That’s where an injury can occur with a guy banging his head on the ice.”

During a recent interview NHLPA director Paul Kelly said they may suggest some rule changes, for example, if a helmet comes off during a fight, the fight should be immediately stopped by the referees.

I asked Boulton if it is realistic to expect two players in the heat of the battle to suddenly stop throwing punches if a helmet comes off, “No absolutely not [realistic]. I don’t like that rule at all. I don’t know how you would ever enforce that,” said the Halifax, Nova Scotia native. “Keep the helmets on, make sure guys don’t take them off before the fights; but that’s the only rule change I would suggest.”

In the NHL where there is no mandatory visor rule in place, players normally keep their helmets on unless they agree to remove them for dramatic effect to entertain the crowd. With mandatory visor rules in effect in the minor leagues it is becoming common practice for enforcers to purposely remove their helmets prior to engaging in fisticuffs, like in Klotz’ seizure incident.

Boulton loses his head protection on occasion during his altercations but feels if that happens in the middle of the fight, they should let it go. “The main thing in my opinion is never [purposely] take your helmet off,” said Boulton. “Helmets have been coming off during fights for years. Guys just should never remove them intentionally.”

While many people believe a ‘code of ethics’ does not exist at the minor league levels regarding fighting, Boulton feels an unwritten “code of ethics’ does exist between most NHL fighters.

“I would say 99% of the guys are respectable of each other and their jobs,” said Boulton. “We all know it’s a hard job to do and you need to have that respect. I’ve seen a lot of that this year, if a guy goes down, not hitting him or if a jersey goes over a head, not hitting him and stuff like that.

I’ve also [occasionally] seen a few guys hitting a guy when they’re on the ice and definitely that stuff shouldn’t happen. That’s where guys get hurt.”

While many NHL players would dread taking on a 6-ft, 3-in. 234-lb. enforcer like Washington Capitals Donald Brashear, Boulton referred to his minute-long, toe-to-toe brawl with Brashear the night before like it was just ‘another day at the office’.

Boulton who is accustomed to bringing Thrashers’ fans to their feet with his rugged style, talked about the most severe injury he ever suffered in a fight.

“Worst injury [from a fight] was a little crack in the face, a broken bone between my nose and my eye here,” he explained while pointing at the crooked spot on his upper bridge. “I had to put on a visor and played with it on for 6 weeks then took it off, it was nothing serious.”

Broken nose. Nothing serious. Just another ‘day at the office’.

Sports Climax NHL fight video clips here.

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