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AHL rules on eligibility of Jesse Boulerice

SPRINGFIELD, Mass. … American Hockey League President and CEO David Andrews today announced the league’s decision regarding the AHL eligibility of Philadelphia Flyers forward Jesse Boulerice.

Boulerice has been ruled ineligible to play in the AHL until December 16, 2007.

“Over the last several seasons, the American Hockey League has established a strict disciplinary standard relative to violent play,” said Andrews. “We strongly support the National Hockey League’s recent decisions relative to targeting the head of an opponent.

“In determining his eligibility date, it was taken into account that this is the second time in his career that Mr. Boulerice has been assigned to the AHL while under a lengthy suspension in another league.”

Boulerice was suspended 25 games by the National Hockey League on Oct. 12 for delivering a cross-check to the face of Vancouver Canucks forward Ryan Kesler in an NHL game, and was assigned by the Flyers to the AHL’s Philadelphia Phantoms on Oct. 17. According to the AHL’s by-laws, a player who is under suspension in another league or organization who seeks to play in the AHL while under that suspension will have the relevant disciplinary matter independently reviewed by the President of the American Hockey League, who may in his discretion deem the player ineligible.

Boulerice’s AHL eligibility does not affect the terms of his NHL suspension.

In operation since 1936, the AHL continues to serve as the top development league for all 30 National Hockey League teams. More than 83 percent of last season’s NHL players were American Hockey League graduates, and for the sixth year in a row, more than 6 million fans attended AHL games across North America in 2006-07.