SUN Hockey Pool

Boul in a china shop

DEREK VAN DIEST, SUN MEDIA

, Last Updated: 9:46 AM ET

The Oilers have a good one in Steve MacIntyre - big, strong, intimidating, and capable of squashing the odd opponent like a bug on a windshield.

But in the world of heavyweight enforcers, one punch can bring it all to an abrupt end, and MacIntyre was put on ice for the next eight to 12 weeks courtesy of Pittsburgh Penguins enforcer Eric Godard.

So the Oilers have gone out and claimed Jesse Boulerice from the Colorado Avalanche to fill the void. The six-foot-two, 215-pound native of Plattsburgh, N.Y., did not arrive in time to practise with the team yesterday and is unlikely to dress for tonight's game against the Toronto Maple Leafs.

"We weren't sure exactly the time frame for Steve MacIntyre, who has been a big part of our team for the last month or so," said Oilers general manger Steve Tambellini.

"Boulerice was available on waivers and we thought we would just have a look and see if maybe this makes sense for our team."

Boulerice, 30, played 12 games with the Lake Erie Monsters, the Avalanche's AHL affiliate, scoring two goals and adding two assists with 46 penalty minutes.

He was originally drafted by the Philadelphia Flyers in the fifth round of the 1996 NHL Entry Draft. He has gone on to play 170 NHL games with the Flyers, Carolina Hurricanes and St. Louis Blues, scoring eight goals and adding two assists with 333 penalty minutes.

Last season, with the Flyers, Boulerice was suspended 25 games for a cross-check to the face of Vancouver Canucks forward Ryan Kesler. It was the second longest regular-season suspension handed out by the league. Chris Simon of the New York Islanders got 30 games for stomping on Pittsburgh Penguins forward Jarkko Ruutu.

Boulerice was also charged with assault in 1998 due to a stick-swinging incident as a member of the Plymouth Whalers.

"We've had discussions (about his past) and we'll see," Tambellini said.

"I know he's excited to be here and he's going to get a chance to play.

"How much will be determined by performance and what (head coach) Craig (MacTavish) feels is warranted. But we know that he's an energy player that comes with a presence and we'll see how it works out."

Erik Cole played with Boulerice with the Carolina Hurricanes. The two actually go quite a ways back, both being from the state of New York. The Oilers forward has high regard for the team's latest acquisition.

"I'm happy for him, I'm excited for him to show what he can do," Cole said.

"I think he's a tremendous guy, a tremendous teammate. He lived right around the corner from me in Carolina - we spent a lot of time together.

"I can't say enough good things about him. I've known him since we were 12 years old. He's been a great friend. I thought it was pretty special that we had an opportunity to play together in Carolina and obviously to get a second turn is even more special."


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