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The NHL announced on Friday that Atlanta Thrashers left wing Eric Boulton has been suspended as a result of his vicious hit on Tampa Bay Lightning defenseman Paul Ranger. The suspension, which is effective with Saturday's contest against the New Jersey Devils, is pending an in-person hearing with league executive vice president Colin Campbell.

The Thrashers were getting routed, 6-0, in the third period of Thursday's game with the Lightning when Boulton leveled Ranger into the boards with an elbow to the head.

The hit, which left Ranger with a fractured jaw and a concussion, has prompted a slew of outraged responses from across the league -- including a profanity-laced tirade from Tampa Bay coach John Tortorella.

The 6-0, 224-pound Boulton apparently waived his right to an in-person meeting with Campbell, but the NHL Players Association refused to grant Boulton's request for a quicker mandate.

Boulton, whose hard hit on Eric Lindros last Friday ignited a skirmish in Atlanta's 9-1 loss to Toronto, will be suspended for more than five games.

Who thinks is sounding more like a scene from Slap Shot…
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